Page\Park Architects scoops UK’s richest architecture prize for Saunders Centre

Glasgow's Saunders Centre (RIBA/Andrew Lee)
Glasgow’s Saunders Centre (RIBA/Andrew Lee)

The Saunders Centre, Glasgow, by Page\Park Architects, has been awarded the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award for 2016.

From a shortlist of eleven projects, all winners of RIAS Awards for 2016, the judges selected the Saunders Centre as a clear winner.

The award was presented at a ceremony at the National Museum of Scotland, which won the award winner in 2011, by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Ms Fiona Hyslop MSP alongside Mrs Margaret Doolan Hon FRIAS (the late Andrew Doolan’s mother).

The winner of this year’s RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award receives a gold medal cast by internationally renowned Scottish Goldsmith, James Brent Ward and a cheque for £25,000.

This makes it the richest architectural prize in the UK and one of the most significant architecture awards in Europe. The award is generously supported by the late Andrew Doolan’s family and by the Scottish Government.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Every year, through the shortlist for the Andrew Doolan Award, we see a display of the many benefits that great architecture can bring and we show the quality of Scottish design to the world.

During the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016, we have been celebrating the best of Scotland’s architecture, both old and new. This year’s Festival of Architecture, organised by the RIAS and its partners, continues to be a fantastic success and tonight’s winner is a welcome addition to the hall of fame of great Scottish architecture.”

The judges for this year’s award were David Dunbar PPRIAS (Chair), Iain Dickson PPRIAS and Eleanor McAllister OBE Hon FRIAS. The full judges’ citation for the winning project reads: “This splendid new addition to Glasgow Academy’s campus is an elegant and subtle addition to the streetscape. The reinforced concrete structural frame is clad in a pattern of precast polished and honed finishes. This modular assembly rises from the podium for the raised ground floor, through a sequence of bay windows to a reinterpretation of the Glasgow dormer at roof level.

The corner entrance signals the main circulation stair, appropriately spacious and robust, which comfortably accommodates class changeovers. The ground floor incorporates a teaching kitchen and provides access to the 178-seat auditorium, complemented by a generous foyer that wraps around the sculptural, oak-clad, elliptical form of the inserted auditorium. The new theatre space is available for assembly and teaching on a daily basis but also offers a further hi-tech performance space for theatrical and public events, enhancing the Academy’s relationship with the West End community around.

On each upper floor, four general teaching labs, together with a sixth year lab, are arranged along a glazed break-out. An informal array of seating in these gathering spaces encourages chance meetings. The window bays overlook the historic main school.”

The building was selected from a strong shortlist of eleven projects which represented a comprehensive range of building types. The shortlist for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award comprised this year’s RIAS Awards winners, as follows:


  1. 1 West Regent Street, Glasgow

  2. Ryder Architecture for More of Glasgow Developments Ltd


    1. Blakeburn, Roxburghshire
    2. A449 LTD for a private client


      1. Castle MacLellan Foods, Kirkcudbright
      2. Taylor Architecture Practice Ltd (T.A.P.) for Castle MacLellan Foods


        1. City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus, Glasgow
        2. Michael Laird Architects/Reiach and Hall Architects for City of Glasgow College


          1. Forsinard Lookout Tower, Sutherland
          2. Icosis Architects for The Peatland Partnership - (RSPB, SNH, Forestry Commission, Highland Council)


            1. Helensburgh Town Centre Public Realm, Helensburgh
            2. Austin-Smith:Lord LLP for Argyll and Bute Council


              1. “it’s bigger on the inside”, Edinburgh
              2. David Blaikie Architects for a private client

                1. Lairdsland Primary School, Kirkintilloch
                2. Walters & Cohen Architects for East Dunbartonshire Council


                  1. The Pyramid Viewpoint, Dunbartonshire
                  2. BTE Architecture for Scottish Government, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park


                    1. Saunders Centre, Science & Technology Building, Glasgow
                    2. Page \ Park Architects for The Glasgow Academy


                      1. Zinc-House, Angus
                      2. LJR+H Chartered Architects for a private client

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