Advocate’s Close named UK ‘Project of the Year’

Advocates Close - Project of the Year, Scotland, 2015The Advocate’s Close project in Edinburgh has been named as the national Project of the Year by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Occupying an historical site within the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, the development which was delivered by Thomas & Adamson surveyors and Morgan McDonnell Architecture Ltd for the Chris Stewart Group, successfully created a vibrant new quarter within a previously run down and unloved part of the city.

Having rehabilitated the existing buildings on the site, the team were also commended for being extremely sensitive when inserting more contemporary additions to the location – this helping to breathe a new lease of life into what is a World Heritage site.

Advocates Close 2The announcement was made at the RICS Awards 2015 Grand Final held at the Dorchester Hotel in London. RICS Awards celebrate the most inspirational initiatives and developments in land, property, construction and the environment from across the UK. Broadcast journalist Sian Williams, hosted the lunchtime event at the Dorchester, which was attended by 400 guests from across the construction and built environment industries.

Awards were also presented in the categories of building conservation, community benefit, design through innovation, regeneration and infrastructure. All entrants had won their respective categories in the regional RICS Awards held across the UK earlier in the year.

Chairman of the RICS judging panel, David Tuffin FRICS, said: “Careful conservation, coupled with sensitive interventions and a clever use of new material and finishes, has produced an imaginative mixed use scheme, including a new hotel, 50 serviced apartments with views over the city, offices, restaurants, cafés and bars combining to produce a commercially sustainable and elegant addition to the Old Town. An exceptional regeneration, Advocate’s Close is a very worthy winner of the 2015 RICS Awards – Project of the Year.”

Lynn Robinson, RICS regional director south, added: “The Advocate’s Close development is a shining example of how a once neglected part of a city can be truly transformed for the better of the surrounding community. Not only has this part of the city been restored in relation to its historic buildings and architecture, it’s been brought right up-to-date with contemporary additions.

“The RICS Awards provides a real showcase of the skills and expertise of those professionals working across all sectors of the built environment. Once again, the standard set by the shortlisted projects was extremely high; each one representing a shining example of how property professionals with a passion for inspirational schemes, both large and small, can transform the lives of not only individuals, but whole communities and the environment at large.”

Grand Final category winners for the RICS Awards 2015

Building Conservation

Winner: St Giles House, Wimbourne St Giles

Highly Commended: Lincoln Castle Revealed, Lincoln

Community Benefit

Winner: Heritage and Outreach Project, Nottingham

Highly Commended: The Forum, University of Essex, Southend

Design through Innovation

Winner: Crome Court, University of East Anglia, Norwich

Highly Commended: the Hadyn Ellis Building, Cardiff University


Winner: Walham 400KV Electricity Substation Flood Defence Project, Gloucester

Highly commended: Scarborough Bathing Water Scheme, Scarborough North and South Bays


Winner: Longbridge Town Centre Phase 1, Birmingham

Highly Commended: Birley Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University

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