12 best new buildings in Scotland revealed in RIAS architecture awards

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has revealed the 12 winners of its 2017 awards representing the very best of current Scottish architecture.

Announced at its Awards Dinner in Edinburgh last night, the RIAS Awards 2017 winners will now all be shortlisted for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award, to be presented in November.

The judging panel consisted of Ole Wiig FRIAS, Lorraine Landels Hon FRIAS, Stuart McKnight RIAS RIBA (representing the Royal Institute of British Architects) and Karen Anderson FRIAS (Timber Award).

Stewart Henderson, president of the RIAS, said: “The quality of contemporary Scottish architecture is well worthy of celebration. These awards demonstrate that buildings of all scales and throughout the country are exemplary in their design, execution and in what they deliver for their clients, users and communities.”

The RIAS Awards 2017 winners are (listed alphabetically with short judges citations):

City of Glasgow College - City Campus, Glasgow

Reiach and Hall Architects / Michael Laird Architects

Image courtesy of Keith Hunter
Image by Keith Hunter

The initial impression is of immensity, boldly signalling the building’s presence as an important place of learning. The palette and form of the building are deliberately restrained to generate something of skill, clarity and elegance, on the grandest scale.

Due West, Argyll & Bute

cameronwebster architects

Dapple Photography
Image by Dapple Photography

This house is more than a match for the challenge of its dramatic site. Uncompromisingly rectilinear, its interior gains maximum benefit from the extraordinary views which it commands. In keeping with the exposed rock faces which embrace the building, its materials are robust.

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries , Dunfermline (contract value: £.9.1m)

Richard Murphy Architects

Carnegie Library and Galleries, Dunfermline - architectural photographyBringing together museum, art galleries, meeting rooms and a café, alongside the world’s first Andrew Carnegie Library, the building is arranged around an internal “street”. This elegantly and legibly connects all of its facilities.

Eastwood Health and Care Centre, Glasgow (contract value: £12.1m)

Hoskins Architects

Image by Dapple Photography
Image by Dapple Photography

This is a substantial healthcare hub, serving a large area, bringing together NHS and Council services with four GP practices. The brick-clad exterior of the building, softened by timber accents, draws visitors into the welcoming atrium.

Edinburgh Road, Musselburgh

A449 LTD

Image by Matthew Johnson

There are very few sites which combine proximity to a major conurbation with coastal views of this quality. Although set between a busy road and a public beach, this new home is simultaneously public and private, polite and deceptively large.

Fernaig Cottage, Wester Ross

Scampton and Barnett Architects

Image by Andrew Barnett
Image by Andrew Barnett

This adapted former shepherd’s cottage keeps faith with its original character. New red roofs echo the historic corrugated metal which features throughout the Highlands. A thing of gentle diligence, this new home enhances this remote little corner of Scotland.

Glendale Primary School and Bunsgoil Ghàidhlig Ghleann Dail, Glasgow (contract value: £12.2m)

Glasgow City Council - DRS Project Management & Design

Image by Ross Campbell
Image by Ross Campbell

This shared English and Gaelic language campus brings together two schools on one site yet allows each to maintain its own distinct identity. Scale, form and materials respond to the historic tenemental character of the area.

James Gillespie’s Campus, Edinburgh (contract value: £28.5m)


Image by Andrew Lee
Image by Andrew Lee

Set within the Listed walls of the A Listed Bruntsfield Tower, these new buildings retain the historic campus quality of the school. The new development embraces the “full education journey” from nursery to secondary within attractive, flexible new facilities.

Moray Place, Edinburgh

Somner Macdonald Architects

Image by Sean Gaule
Image by Sean Gaule

In the 1930s, two adjoining townhouses were adapted to provide large floorplate apartments. While respecting the Georgian character of its spaces, bold design moves and the reconfiguration of the layout create a contemporary dwelling of real impact.

Newhouse of Auchengree, North Ayrshire

Ann Nisbet Studio

Image by David Barbour
Image by David Barbour

On an elevation, commanding long views over the agricultural landscape, this cluster of separate spaces reflects the way that historic farm buildings developed over decades past. The zinc cladding reflects the light and cloud patterns of its setting.

Powis Place, Aberdeen (contract value: £10.5m)

Carson & Partners

Image by Keith Hunter
Image by Keith Hunter

This urban-edge site is bounded on three sides by busy roads, rising significantly front to back. Self-contained around an upper level courtyard, this robustly sculptural building enhances the locale. Entrance and shared social spaces open to the street.

Rockvilla - National Theatre of Scotland HQ, Glasgow (contract value: £4.9m)

Hoskins Architects

Rockvilla National Theatre of Scotland HQDescribed as “creative engine room” for the National Theatre, the existing structural frame was retained and re-clad to reinforce the industrial aesthetic. A restrained internal palette houses a double-height atrium/social space, rehearsal spaces, offices and meeting rooms.

In the sixth year of the restyled awards, the RIAS has again teamed up with Forestry Commission Scotland/Wood for Good, Historic Environment Scotland, the Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland and Saint-Gobain for its five sub-category awards.

The winner of the Wood for Good/Forestry Commission Scotland Award for the Best Use of Timber was Culardoch Shieling, Aberdeenshire by Moxon Architects Ltd.

The winner of the Historic Environment Scotland Award for Conservation and Climate Change was Dalkeith Corn Exchange by Michael Laird Architects.

The winner of Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficiency Award was Fernaig Cottage, Wester Ross by Scampton and Barnett Architects.

RIAS President’s Award for Placemaking was won by Holyrood North Student Accommodation and Outreach Centre, Edinburgh by jmarchitects, Oberlanders Architects and John C Hope Architects

The winner of the Saint-Gobain Emerging Architect Award was Neil Taylor, Taylor Architecture Practice Ltd (T.A.P.) for Aerial Adventures, East Kilbride and the Scottish National Waterski Centre, Dunfermline.

The winner of the Scottish Government Scotland’s Client of the Year Award was Fife Council for Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries by Richard Murphy Architects.

The RIBA National Awards for Scotland will be announced on June 22.

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