The panel of judges was chaired by the late Professor Andy MacMillan OBE FRIAS with RIAS President, Iain Connelly, Fr Dermot Morrin Hon FRIAS, winner of the RIAS/Scottish Government Client of the Year Award in 2013, Margaret Richards FRIAS, winner of the 2014 RIAS Lifetime Achievement Award and Hanneke Scott-van Wel RIAS, Director of Stone Opera.

The panel looked for projects which showed innovation and design excellence, irrespective of size or type. Other key considerations were: detailing, accessibility, environmental issues and technical skill. From the eighty three entries for the 2014 RIAS Awards, thirteen buildings were shortlisted for the ‘Doolan’.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, announced the result of this year’s award at a presentation at the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh on 5th November 2014.

After lengthy deliberations the judges felt that four projects deserve a special mention.

The judges were unanimous in their decision of the award winner.

The RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland 2014 winner is:

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.”

Special Mentions:

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.”

House No. 7, Isle of Tiree (contract value not for publication)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

Scottish Water – The Bridge, Stepps (contract value not for publication)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


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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”