The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has announced 13 winners, representing the very best of current Scottish architecture, at its annual Awards Dinner held in Glasgow last night.

The judging panel included Marjorie Appleton FRIAS, Doug Read PPRIAS, Liz Davidson OBE Hon FRIAS, Craig White RIBA and George Oldham RIAS RIBA, representing the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Iain Connelly, President of the RIAS, commented:

“83 submissions from throughout Scotland, ranging in cost from £26,000 to £125m, is a tremendous vote of confidence. It absolutely confirms that this award, in only its third year, is now the single most important recognition of architectural achievement in Scotland.”

In the third year of the restyled awards the RIAS has again teamed up with Forestry Commission Scotland/Wood for Good and Historic Scotland but also this year with the Scottish Government for our three prestigious sub-category awards.

The RIAS Awards 2014 winners are (listed alphabetically with short citations):

261 West Princes Street, Glasgow (contract value not for publication)

Elder & Cannon Architects (Client: CCG)

“Two new-build blocks are set in a relationship to the existing tenements which generates a new internal pattern of landscaped courtyards. The materials forming the new elevations are intentionally bright and reflective.”

Advocates Close, Edinburgh (£12m)

Morgan McDonnell Architecture Ltd (Client: Chris Stewart Group)

“Urban weaving at its most complex, connected into the existing patterns of Edinburgh’s upper Old Town, the project connects refurbished historic properties with new-build. A substantial mixed development, full of interest.”

The Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy (£1,235,000)

Robin Baker Architects (Client: Friends of the Birks Cinema)

“This substantial Art Deco historic cinema, long derelict, provides a new 100-seater auditorium and a café/bar generating life, engagement and a cultural focus within a property and a townscape which has been thoroughly reinvigorated.”

Buchanan Gardens, Glasgow (contract value not for publication)

BDP (Client: Land Securities)

“The frontage on Glasgow’s premier shopping street is a series of attractive blocks with different treatments. The rooftop residencies open onto a garden, generating a new community in the heart of the city.”

Cliff House, Isle of Skye (contract value not for publication)

Dualchas Architects (Client: Not for publication)

“Simple geometries and timber cladding connect this new home to its beautiful elevated site. Highly insulated, the house provides maximum protection from the extremes of Skye’s weather.”

Clydebank East Workshops, Glasgow (contract value not for publication)

Elder & Cannon Architects (Client: Clydebank Rebuilt)

“What might have been standard, utilitarian structures are transformed into a development which declares itself. A simple but refined colour palette redefines conventional notions of workshops, setting a marker for future development.”

Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village, Glasgow (£125m)

RMJM Architecture Ltd (Client: City Legacy)

“The Games’ new sports facilities and accommodation are an enduring asset. This development of attractive modern homes will welcome a new community to Dalmarnock and has the potential to generate a sustainable future for the whole area.”

Grassmarket Community Project, Edinburgh (£1,541,324)

Gareth Hoskins Architects (Client: Greyfriars Kirk)

“Transforming an awkward gap site into the entrance to enhanced facilities provides a new social enterprise amenity in the heart of Edinburgh. The new building occupies its site with ingenuity, providing a warm welcome to all.”

House No. 7, Isle of Tiree (contract value not for publication)

Denizen Works Ltd (Client: Mrs Liz Kerr)

“This tight development utilises both the traditional black house form and more agriculturally derived structures to create main and guest houses within its enclosed setting, all elegantly drawn into a unified internal composition.”

The Inn at John O’Groats (£2.5m)

GLM (Client: Natural Retreats)

“This symbolic, much visited, location was, for too long, down at heel. Brightly coloured pavilions extend the restored Victorian hotel to create a whole new attraction and a highly visible landmark.”

Knockando Woolmill, Knockando (£2.02m)

LDN Architects (Client: Knockando Woolmill Trust)

“The mill and its adjoining buildings, previously very much at risk, have been given new life. Visitor facilities and accommodation are subtle and understated, preserving and reinterpreting important elements from Scotland’s past.”

Scottish Water – The Bridge, Stepps (contract value not for publication)

Reiach & Hall Architects (Client: Scottish Water)

“A new Scottish classicism delineates this elegant office development at the edge of a business park. The restraint of the external forms and materials is continued within the dramatic central atrium.”

The SSE Hydro, Glasgow (£125m)

Foster + Partners (Client: Scottish Exhibition and Centre Ltd (SEC))

“By raising the circular auditorium at an angle, a simple servicing and access diagram is created below the “flying saucer” form of this dramatic new landmark arena. Superbly lit it becomes a night-time beacon.”

Special Category Award for the Best Use of Timber

The winner of the Wood for Good/Forestry Commission Scotland Award for the Best Use of Timber was:


The Inn at John O’Groats

GLM (Client: Natural Retreats)


Craig White, Chair of Wood for Good said:

"The Wood for Good award winning project is an exemplar of how wood can be used from whole building structural solutions, prefabrication, cladding to elegant finishes. The use of local skills, labour and materials is testament to how a wood first approach is sustainable, innovative and supports local economies. The developer, designer, contractor and operator are all to be congratulated.”

Special Category Award for Conservation and Climate Change

The winner of the Historic Scotland Award for Conservation and Climate Change was:


Knockando Woolmill

LDN Architects (Client: Knockando Woolmill Trust)


Historic Scotland’s Chief Executive, Ian Walford said:

“Knockando Mill is a worthy winner of this year’s award. The commendable work at the wool mill was carried out sensitively and to the highest standards, to ensure a long term and sustainable future for this important site. The financial benefits for the local community will be felt immediately and the perpetuation of traditional skills such as spinning, warping and weaving, have been given a welcome boost thanks to the introduction of this new educational resource.”

Special Category Award for Scotland’s Client of the Year

The winner of the Scottish Government Scotland’s Client of the Year Award was:

Friends of The Birks Cinema

Project: The Birks Cinema (Architect: Robin Baker Architects)


Cabinet Secretary, Fiona Hyslop MSP said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting our architecture and design sector. Within our national policy statement on architecture, Creating Places, we recognise the vital role of good clients in ensuring that Scotland’s buildings and places enrich our lives, are sustainable, make a positive contribution to the environment where they are sited, and contribute to our cultural and national identity.

Good clients share this government’s belief that the creation of high quality buildings and places can enhance and benefit the communities in which their projects are set. The Scottish Government is pleased to support the Client of the Year Award as part of the 2014 RIAS Awards.”

RIBA Awards for Scotland

From the 13 RIAS 2014 winners, four projects have won RIBA Awards for Scotland. These are:


261 West Princes Street, Glasgow

Elder & Cannon Architects (Client: CCG)


House No. 7, Isle of Tiree

Denizen Works Ltd (Client: Mrs Liz Kerr)


Scottish Water – The Bridge, Stepps

Reiach & Hall Architects (Client: Scottish Water)


Cliff House, Isle of Skye

Dualchas Architects (Client: Not for publication)


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 Scottish Parliament) consists of all of the RIAS 2014 winners.