RIAS unveils Scotland’s best buildings of the year

RIAS unveils Scotland's best buildings of the year

Jedburgh Grammar Campus ©Andrew Lee

A new secondary school that places students’ mental health and well-being at the heart of its design, the rescue and restoration of an iconic Modernist house, and an exquisite rural office building on the edge of the Balmoral estate are among the winners of Scotland’s national architecture awards.

Drawn from all across Scotland, the winners of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Awards 2022 also include a small housing development in Portobello and the new Falkirk Campus for Forth Valley College.

The 2022 RIAS Awards winners are: 

Forth Valley College – Falkirk Campus, Falkirk by Reiach and Hall Architects 

RIAS unveils Scotland's best buildings of the year

Forth Valley College's Falkirk Campus

The new Falkirk Campus for Forth Valley marks the culmination of a decade-long estates programme, and an exceptional 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.

Havenfield Mews, Edinburgh by Sonia Browse Architects

RIAS unveils Scotland's best buildings of the year

 Havenfield Mews

Havenfield Mews is a development of three family townhouses in a new mews street in Portobello, on the site of a former church hall. The small-scale project is sympathetic to the existing style and character of the neighbourhood and has been carefully designed as a place for people rather than for vehicles. The project prioritises a fabric first approach with careful consideration given to maximising passive heat gains. Despite the relatively constrained site, the houses are generously sized, characterful and filled with light.

High Sunderland, Galashiels by Loader Monteith

RIAS unveils Scotland's best buildings of the year

©Dapple Photography

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

RIAS unveils Scotland's best buildings of the year

©Andrew Lee

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

RIAS unveils Scotland's best buildings of the year

Lockerbie Sawmill

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.

Ostro Passivhaus, Kippen by Paper Igloo

RIAS unveils Scotland's best buildings of the year

©David Barbour

Ostro is a contemporary and exemplary low-energy dwelling, and dispels the myth that exquisite contemporary architecture cannot be truly low energy or environmentally beneficial. This was a labour of love: Paper Igloo’s Mhairi Grant and Martin McCrae built the house by hand over several years on a modest budget. Nothing is unnecessary or superfluous and all parts meaningfully contribute to the story of the building, and its beauty and durability in the face of the climate crisis.

Quarry Studios, Aberdeenshire by Moxon Architects

RIAS unveils Scotland's best buildings of the year

©Tim Soar

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.

The Den, Tighnabruaich by Technique Architecture and Design in collaboration with Stallan-Brand

RIAS unveils Scotland's best buildings of the year

©Dapple Photography

Two dilapidated flats were combined to create this holiday home and studio space – conceived as a playful den and lookout post with spectacular views across the Kyles of Bute. Stone walls and battered floorboards were retained within the split-level living space, encased within a new plywood volume containing the kitchen, bedrooms and storage, and clad with an insulated metal ‘exoskeleton’. The result is an unashamedly contemporary addition to the town with equally unique interiors.

The RIAS Awards demonstrate the quality and breadth of architectural endeavour in Scotland. All types and sizes of architectural projects can win a RIAS Award, as the list of 2022 awards winners demonstrates. Buildings are assessed by an expert jury who look at each project’s architectural integrity, usability and context, delivery and execution, and sustainability.  

The winners of the RIAS Awards will now become the ‘longlist’ for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award – one of the most significant architecture prizes in the world - which will be announced in November. Recipients of the 2022 RIAS Awards are also eligible for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Awards.

RIAS president Christina Gaiger PRIAS said: “Once more I have been impressed and inspired by the breadth of exceptional projects to be recognised by the RIAS Awards. This year’s awards demonstrate that you can find outstanding Scottish architecture pretty much anywhere – from city centres to some of the most remote spots in the country. The awards also demonstrate the resilience of our profession – whether that is a house built by hand over many years or projects delivered during the tough times of the pandemic. This year’s awards show how Scottish architects are rising up to today’s challenges – from the climate emergency to the nation’s mental health – and prove the fundamental role that architecture plays in society.”

The jury for the 2022 RIAS Awards were Murray Kerr (founder, Denizen Works), Christina Gaiger PRIAS (President, RIAS), Audrey Carlin (CEO, Wasps Studios) and Tony Chapman (former head of awards, RIBA).

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