Five projects compete to be Scotland’s building of the year
Two pioneering new schools, two exceptional workplaces and a mid-century architectural masterpiece are now competing for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has revealed.
According to the organisation, together the projects demonstrate how, thanks to the skill and talent of Scottish architects, everyday buildings can be transformed into extraordinary places.
The 2022 RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award shortlist is as follows:
Forth Valley College – Falkirk Campus, Falkirk by Reiach and Hall Architects
The new Falkirk Campus for Forth Valley marks the culmination of a decade-long estates programme, and a remarkable period of collaboration between the college and Reiach and Hall Architects. With a focus on science and technology, engineering, sport and healthcare, the project embodies a progressive approach to education where inclusion and respect are key, and which is enhanced by cutting edge classrooms, flexible spaces and advanced technology.
High Sunderland, Galashiels by Loader Monteith
High Sunderland is a 1957 Category A-listed modernist icon designed by Peter Womersley. Its future was in jeopardy following a fire in 2017 until new owners Juliet Kinchin and Paul Stirton – both Scottish historians of architecture and design – appointed Loader Monteith to undertake an extraordinarily careful and skilful restoration. The result combines a forensic approach to building conservation and reuse, while improving High Sunderland’s energy performance.
Jedburgh Grammar Campus, Jedburgh by Stallan-Brand Architecture + Design
The concept of ‘nurture’ is generally confined to early years education – but not at Jedburgh Grammar. Here, the empathetic cut-off when students move into secondary education is swerved, thanks to a design that prioritises their mental health and well-being. Stallan-Brand Architecture + Design’s approach has created flexible spaces that allow students to take ownership of their space, and instead of generic classrooms offers a variety of places for students to learn, present, socialise, make and retreat.
Lockerbie Sawmill, Lockerbie by Konishi Gaffney
Konishi Gaffney did not have to look far for materials for the new offices and visitor centre at the UK’s largest sawmill: the building acts as a demonstration project, almost entirely erected from James Jones and Sons’ own products with an approach to minimising the use of steel and maximising timber. This ode to sustainable timber construction showcases the company’s ambition as well as its operations; presenting a flagship for Scotland’s timber industry.
Quarry Studios, Aberdeenshire by Moxon Architects
Moxon Architects’ own office is a low-lying building, surrounded by thick forest, tucked into the bowl of a former quarry in the Cairngorm National Park. The building combines a studio and café; a private and a public face, with the latter providing valuable amenity to the small community. It is welcoming and accessible, with a layout that is conceptually tied to the landscape. The lightweight building nestles into its site, in harmony, and was designed to support local labour through the promotion of traditional trades and contemporary construction techniques.
2022 is the twentieth anniversary of the RIAS Doolan Award, which was established in 2002 with a mission to find and celebrate the best building in Scotland each year. All types of architectural projects in Scotland are eligible, including new-build, regeneration, restoration, extensions and interiors. Buildings are assessed by an expert jury who look at each project’s architectural integrity, usability and context, delivery and execution, and sustainability. The shortlist is drawn from the winners of the 2022 RIAS Awards, which were announced in June.
The jury for the 2022 award is Amin Taha (chair) – chair, Groupwork; Leonie Bell – director, V&A Dundee and Jude Barber – director, Collective Architecture.
The award is named in memory of its founder and patron, the inspired architect/developer Andy Doolan, who died in 2004. The architects of the winning building receive a £10,000 cash prize, making this one of the most significant architecture awards in the world. The award would not exist without Andy Doolan’s extraordinary generosity and vision, and his family have kindly continued their support. The Scottish Government also generously supports the award.
Chris Stewart PRIAS, president of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, said: “It is exciting to see these five remarkable buildings on the shortlist for the Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award. Our homes, schools and offices form the backdrop to our everyday lives, and this year’s shortlist shows how architects can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
“This year’s shortlist also highlights the relevance of architecture to many of society’s most pressing issues – whether that is climate change, young people’s mental health or the future of the workplace. I am proud of Scotland’s architecture profession and this year’s shortlist demonstrates why it should be celebrated.”