Prominent gems and wee bothys make Scotland’s top 100 buildings list

2006 - Maggie's Highland Cancer Centre (c Keith Hunter)
2006 - Maggie’s Highland Cancer Centre (c Keith Hunter)

Two Glasgow banks, the Bon Accord Baths in Aberdeen and Tongland Power Station in Kirkcudbright have all been named amongst on the nation’s favourite buildings.

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland’s (RIAS) list of the top-100 buildings in Scotland from the last century also included a wee concrete bothy in Sutherland (known, ironically, as the Hermit’s Castle) and a fashion designer’s studio near Galashiels as well as buildings on Bute, Skye, Tiree and Orkney.

1970 BOAC Building (c Alan Crumlish)
1970 BOAC Building (c Alan Crumlish)

More prominent architectural gems, include the arches at the City Chambers in Glasgow, the Scottish Parliament and Stirling University.

The public will now have the chance to vote for their favourite building as part of the Festival of Architecture next year. The Festival is the cornerstone of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

John Hope Gate, Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. Architect: Edward Cullinan
John Hope Gate, Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
Architect: Edward Cullinan

The Scotstyle list, which features buildings from 1916 right up to the present day, has been compiled by RIAS as a celebration of Scottish architecture. The exhibition Scotstyle will be touring around the country next year to give the public a chance to view and vote for the properties. The venues for the exhibition won’t just be galleries or libraries, it’s going to railway stations and shopping centres, so that people from all walks of life can appreciate these buildings and vote for their favourite.

Some of the buildings are quite unexpected, there are quite a few surprises, but they all offer an insight into Scottish architecture. The list was selected from more than 400 nominations put forward by members of the public, with a group of architects, critics and architectural historians whittling it down to 100 properties. Now the public can once again get involved by voting for their favourite to be named as the best building in Scotland of the last century.

2011 - The Houl (c Andrew Lee)
2011 - The Houl (c Andrew Lee)

Most of these buildings are used and enjoyed by people in their day to day lives, perhaps without noticing their architectural qualities. The list now highlights this and offers people a chance to stop to look at the buildings and reconsider them.

David Dunbar PPRIAS, who chairs the Festival, said: “The great architecture of the last century will hopefully engage people and get them more interested in looking at the buildings around them. People can vote for their favourite from the first showing in the spring then throughout next year, either online or at the exhibitions. At the end of the year, the people’s favourite will be announced. It will be exciting to see which building is eventually revealed as the best of the century.”

For more information on the voting process and to view the full list of buildings, visit

Share icon
Share this article: