RIAS celebrates the ‘very best of Scottish architecture’

Twelve buildings representing the “very best of Scottish architecture” have been recognised with awards by The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

Among the winners, announced at an annual the RIAS Awards Dinner held in Edinburgh last night, are the Dalmunach Distillery in Moray, new homes in Gorbals, the Maggie’s Centre in Airdrie and the new Theatre Royal foyer and extension for Scottish Opera in Glasgow.

The judging panel was Iain Dickson PPRIAS (chair), Julia Barfield RIBA, representing the Royal Institute of British Architects, Karen Cunningham, director of next year’s Festival of Architecture, Hugh Dutton Hon FRIAS of Hugh Dutton Associés, Paris and Stuart Goodall, chief executive of Confor.

Willie Watt, President of the RIAS, said: “65 submissions from throughout Scotland, ranging in cost from £30,000 to £26m, is a tremendous vote of confidence. It absolutely confirms that this award, in only its fourth year, is now the single most important recognition of architectural achievement in Scotland.”

In the fourth year of the restyled awards the RIAS has again teamed up with Forestry Commission Scotland/Wood for Good, Historic Scotland, the Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland for its four prestigious sub-category awards.

The 2015 winners are (listed alphabetically with short judges citations):

Arcadia NurseryArcadia Nursery, Edinburgh (contract value not for publication)

Malcolm Fraser Architects for The University of Edinburgh

“Three playrooms are linked together by a single-storey building, with a large roof light offering views up to the tree canopy. A first floor area contains offices, staff and family rooms. Each of the playrooms opens out to a covered terrace. The timber structure provides the perfect combination of warm, tactile, welcoming interior, whilst also being a natural, sustainable material.”

Dalmunach Distillery

Dalmunach Distillery, Moray (contract value not for publication)

Archial Norr (Inverness Studio) for Chivas Brothers (part of Pernod Ricard)

“Elegantly addressing the functional requirements of a contemporary distillery, this building also draws upon the rich history of such buildings. The use of a traditional series of pitched roofs reflects tradition, while resolving functional issues. Salvaged materials are elegantly incorporated within the new entrance.”

Highland SteadingHighland Steading (contract value not for publication)

Marcus Lee/FLACQ and cameronwebster architects for a private client

“Commanding long views, the building adapts an existing steading to create luxurious living with service accommodation onto the rear courtyard. A reinterpretation of the historic hunting lodge, the new house utilises the level change to create a distinction between the luxurious living spaces to the front and the service accommodation to the rear.”

Lamb's HouseLamb’s House, Edinburgh (contract value: £2,000,000)

Groves-Raines Architects Ltd for Groves-Raines Architects

“This rare survivor has been carefully restored from near dereliction and returned to its original usage, accommodating a business and home. Modern floors, ceilings, doors and windows were replaced using materials and techniques suitable to a Category A listed building. The essential character of this, now fully restored, historic, 17th-century Leith town house is elegantly restored.”

Laurieston Transformational AreaLaurieston Transformational Area, Glasgow (contract value: £22,260,000)

Page\Park Architects and Elder and Cannon Architects for New Gorbals Housing Association

“Reinterpreting the traditional Glasgow tenement, these blocks, fittingly urban in scale, provide high quality homes, close to the heart of the city. These affordable-rent homes in a layout of streets and mews in Laurieston build on the urban character of Glasgow, comprising clearly-defined blocks to reinforce the grid.”

Maggie's LanarkshireMaggie’s Lanarkshire, Airdrie (contract value: £1,800,000)

Reiach and Hall Architects for Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres

“This building offers a respite from the clinical atmosphere and built form of the nearby hospital. Visitors enter a quiet arrival court, defined by low brick walls and two lime trees. A sense of dignity and calm prevails. External courts catch sunlight within sheltered “sitooteries.” This modest building gathers a sequence of domestic-scaled, contemplative spaces.”

The Mill, Southside SteadingThe Mill, Southside Steading, Peebles (contract value not for publication)

WT Architecture for a private client

“An old mill in the Borders has been converted into a stylish holiday home, retaining much historic character. Spaces are utilitarian and durable. The timber home slots into the existing structure, rising above the original wall head with a clerestory from which light spills down. The stepping of the building introduces half levels.”

Regency DormerRegency Dormer, Edinburgh (contract value: £32,000)

Konishi Gaffney Architects for a private client

“Challenging more traditional approaches, this low profile dormer window, elegantly detailed, transforms the home. Conservative planning rules and a lack of headroom were overcome to extend a first-floor flat into a loft and create a new bedroom. After long negotiations a long rear dormer, clad in anthracite zinc by French artists, was agreed.”

RosefieldRosefield, Edinburgh (contract value: £166,564)

A449 LTD for Format Scotland Ltd.

“Respecting the utilitarian aesthetic of this former stable/coach house, this adaptation utilises a restrained palette to create a new family home. Respecting the building’s character was a priority with minimal alterations to the principal elevation. Timber cladding distinguishes new elements, charred for longevity and reflecting the historical use of the site as a coal merchant’s yard.”

The Shields CentreThe Shields Centre, Glasgow (contract value not for publication)

Anderson Bell + Christie Architects for hub West Scotland

“Combining two medical practices with other social service provision, this building signals its presence with a brick-classical colonnade onto the street, a bold public presence in an urban landscape. The design reflects the warm sandstone of nearby tenements. Privacy to clinical rooms behind the colonnade is provided by intricate Corten steel panels, by artist Alex Hamilton.”

Theatre RoyalTheatre Royal, Glasgow (contract value not for publication)

Page \ Park Architects for Scottish Opera

“Creating a welcoming entrance foyer and embracing a dramatic, sinuous stair, this new structure boldly signposts Scottish Opera’s HQ. ‘Street to seat’ was the ethos, with the client wanting to literally ‘open up’ theatre and opera as art forms. By providing a welcoming entrance, addressing the street corner, the theatre experience has been ‘democratised’.”

West Burn LaneWest Burn Lane, St Andrews (contract value not for publication)

Sutherland Hussey Harris for EASTACRE Investments LLP

“Following St Andrews’ historic ‘rigg’ pattern, this new development is a graceful and intelligent insertion within one of Scotland’s finest historic urban environments. Careful in scale and utilising materials of the highest quality, this unobtrusive contemporary housing development is set in a conservation area, embracing a series of public and private courtyards.”

  • Special Category Award - the Best Use of Timber
  • The winner of the Wood for Good/Forestry Commission Scotland Award for the Best Use of Timber was: Arcadia Nursery, Edinburgh - Malcolm Fraser Architects.

    • Special Category Award - Conservation and Climate Change
    • The winners of the Historic Scotland Award for Conservation and Climate Change were: South Beach Medical Centre, Ardrossan - Reiach and Hall Architects and The Speirs Centre, Alloa - LDN Architects LLP.

      With a commendation to: Howan, Egilsay, Orkney - Simpson and Brown Architects with Rachel Mayhew Architect.

      • Special Category Award - Resource Efficiency
      • The winner of Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficiency Award was: Arcadia Nursery, Edinburgh - Malcolm Fraser Architects.

        With a commendation to: The Noust Boathouse, Tiree - TOG Studio.

        • Special Category Award - Scotland’s Client of the Year
        • The winner of the Scottish Government Scotland’s Client of the Year Award was: New Gorbals Housing Association. Project: Laurieston Transformational Area, Glasgow (Architect: Page\Park Architects and Elder and Cannon Architects).

          From the 12 RIAS 2015 winners, five projects have won RIBA Awards for Scotland. These are Arcadia Nursery, Dalmunach Distillery, Laurieston Transformational Area, Maggie’s Lanarkshire and West Burn Lane.

          The shortlist for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award, supported by the Doolan family and the Scottish Government (to be presented in November at the National Museum of Scotland) consists of all 12 of the RIAS Awards 2015 winners.

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