The 2015 Awards Dinner was generously sponsored by:

RIAS Awards 2015 - Winners

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has announced 12 winners, representing the very best of current Scottish architecture, at its annual Awards Dinner held in Edinburgh in June.

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, commented:

“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 our four prestigious sub-category awards.

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

Arcadia Nursery, Edinburgh (contract value not for publication)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Dalmunach Distillery, Moray (contract value not for publication)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Highland Steading (contract value not for publication)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 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 Area, Glasgow (contract value: £22,260,000)

PagePark 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 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, Scottish Borders (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 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.”

Rosefield, 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 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 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 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

Craig White, Chair of Wood for Good said:

"The Wood for Good/Forestry Commission Scotland award winning project is inspiring in its imaginative use of wood throughout the building, using cross laminated timber and wood cladding for its structure and external finish with the wood interior providing a seamless connection with the external use of wood in the nursery playground.

The result is a functional, attractive and welcoming series of spaces that provides the perfect environment for learning and play. Everyone connected with this project is to be congratulated.”

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


The Speirs Centre, Alloa

LDN Architects LLP

With a commendation to:

Howan, Egilsay, Orkney

Simpson and Brown Architects with Rachel Mayhew Architect

Diana Murray, Joint Chief Executive for Historic Scotland said:

“The calibre of entrants to this year’s competition was of the highest standard. So much so that we found it impossible to choose an outright winner and opted instead to bestow the award on two worthy recipients: the South Beach Medical Practice in Ardrossan, and the Speirs Centre in Alloa.

Both are unique and hugely worthwhile projects which have undoubtedly benefitted their surrounding communities, using innovative designs to incorporate state-of-the-art facilities into traditional buildings. My congratulations to both of them.

Special mention should also be given to the Howan, on Egilsay, Orkney, which was skilfully converted into a 21st Century holiday home, whilst still maintaining many original features of this B listed building.”

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

Marissa Lippiatt, Head of the Resource Efficient Scotland programme at Zero Waste Scotland said:

“The construction sector is an important area of work for Resource Efficient Scotland. Resource efficiency is about more than simply reacting to poor environmental performance, it’s about designing to ensure that buildings not only perform efficiently in the present, but are capable of adapting to and maximising local opportunities as they arise.

Malcolm Fraser Architects has demonstrated this excellently and I’m delighted to announce them as the winners of this year’s Resource Efficiency Award for their work on the Arcadia Nursery. This is an innovative design which utilised space and natural lighting, as well as effectively integrating the service requirements with existing local infrastructure.”

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: PagePark Architects and Elder and Cannon Architects)

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said:

“Clients play an immensely valuable role in achieving excellence in Scotland’s built environment, and the Client of the Year Award, which the Scottish Government is sponsoring for the third year, recognises this.

Clients who fully understand the value of design and who are dedicated to attaining quality have the potential to inspire their design teams to realise the best outcomes for projects, both for themselves and for their wider communities.”

From the 12 RIAS 2015 winners, five projects have won RIBA Awards for Scotland. These are:

Arcadia Nursery, Edinburgh - Malcom Fraser Architects for The University of Edinburgh

Dalmunach Distillery, Moray - Archial Norr (Inverness Studio) for Chivas Brothers (part of Pernod Ricard)

Laurieston Transformational Area, Glasgow - PagePark Architects and Elder and Cannon Architects for New Gorbals Housing Association

Maggie's Lanarkshire, Airdrie - Reiach and Hall Architects for Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres

West Burn Lane, St Andrews - Sutherland Hussey Harris for EASTACRE Investments LLP

The shortlist for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award, supported by the Doolan family and the Scottish Government (to be presented on 4th November at the National Museum of Scotland) consists of all 12 of the RIAS Awards 2015 winners.