RIAS announces 11 winners in awards

At its Centenary and Awards Dinner held in Glasgow, The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) announced 11 winners for the 2016 Award, representing the very best of current Scottish architecture.

The judging panel was chaired by Willie Watt PRIAS and included Denise Bennetts FRIAS (representing the Royal Institute of British Architects), Alan Jones PPRSUA Hon FRIAS, Andy Leitch (Forestry Commission Scotland) and Stuart McKill (Saint-Gobain).

Willie Watt, President of the RIAS, commented:

“It seems appropriate, in this RIAS Centenary year, that we have such a strong and diverse list of winners. Our awards celebrate the very best that is being built in Scotland. This is a tremendous list which goes in scale from a small house extension/reconfiguration to major education provision. Unusually, there are no Islands represented on this year’s list but geographically they extend from a factory in Dumfriesshire to a lookout tower in Sutherland. This is a list that fully demonstrates the privilege of living in our magnificent wee country and just how architects have embraced the responsibility that brings with it.”

In the fifth year of the restyled awards the RIAS has again teamed up with Forestry Commission Scotland/Wood for Good, Historic Environment Scotland, The Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland and Saint-Gobain for our five prestigious sub-category awards.

The RIAS Awards 2016 winners are (listed alphabetically with short judges citations):

1 West Regent Street, Glasgow (contract value not for publication)
Ryder Architecture

The challenge was providing 135,000 sq ft of offices while preserving a listed building and integrating this with an innovative new design that blended with its surroundings and added to the cityscape. Clad in a bronzed metallic curtain wall system, the interior spaces are virtually column free and offer 360 degree views of the city.

Blakeburn, Roxburghshire (contract value not for publication)
A449 LTD

A complete overhaul of a nondescript, mid-20th century, dwelling to create a unique and elegant countryside home. The footprint was extended to the east and west of the existing building, with the entire building then over-clad, in scorched larch, to blend in with nearby woodland.

Castle MacLellan Foods Kirkcudbright (contract value: £3.8m)
Taylor Architecture Practice Ltd (T.A.P.)

This project aimed to create a well-designed, industrial building that was a pleasurable working environment with a welcoming frontage in a riverside setting. A new reception block on the street edge provides a point of arrival while rising up to become a bridge, spanning the main goods-in area and linking to the upper level of the existing factory.

City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus, Glasgow (contract value: £66m)
Michael Laird Architects/Reiach and Hall Architects

Located at the edge of a major crossing of the River Clyde, the site marks a gateway in the city and projects the College’s importance as a civic institution as well as creating a new landmark. New buildings are organised around two civic spaces – a cloistered garden and a grand hall – which encourage students to mix and realise opportunities for learning across disciplines.
Forsinard Lookout Tower, Sutherland (contract value not for publication)
Icosis Architects

This tower was created to give visitors an elevated and striking look-out over the Flow Country and its blanket peat bogs and associated pools. To minimise disruption to the peat, the construction is similar to that of an oil rig, built off 150mm diameter hollow piles driven to a solid base around 4m below the surface.

Helensburgh Town Centre Public Realm, Helensburgh (contract value: £6.6m)
Austin-Smith:Lord LLP

The design ethos was to create a town centre with attractive, usable and flexible public spaces to support community events, festivals and markets. The scheme ingeniously incorporates an outdoor museum. The walkways, soft landscaped areas, tree lines and lighting columns are set out on a simple grid, which enhances and frames the several high-quality, listed buildings within Colquhoun Square.

“it’s bigger on the inside”, Edinburgh (contract value not for publication)
David Blaikie Architects

This “glass box” extension and remodelling of the ground floor rear rooms allows the new kitchen and dining spaces of this, Category B listed, Victorian townhouse to “spill out” into a south-facing garden. The remodelling of the rear rooms and modest extension is integrated with the overall refurbishment of the whole house.

Lairdsland Primary School, Kirkintilloch (contract value not for publication)
Walters & Cohen Architects

This 280-pupil school is designed to deliver the new Scottish Curriculum for Excellence, to be a beacon in its community and provide a quality learning environment. The canal-side location was the inspiration for construction parallel to the water with semi-open plan learning spaces and double-height glazing to provide views and a light and spacious environment.

The Pyramid Viewpoint, Dunbartonshire (contract value not for publication)
BTE Architecture

This peninsula viewpoint overlooking Loch Lomond, taking the shape of a triangular platform at the end of a long, curved path is first seen as a narrow, vertical stack amongst the trees. Only a glimpse of the loch is visible through a long tunnel, marking the entrance.

Saunders Centre, Science & Technology Building, Glasgow (contract value not for publication)
Page Park Architects

This facility at the Glasgow Academy includes a new 178-seat auditorium, complemented by a generous foyer that wraps around the sculptural elliptical form. On each upper floor, four general teaching labs, together with a sixth year lab, are arranged along a glazed break out and bay-windowed passage overlooking the historic main school.

Zinc-House, Angus (contract value not for publication)
LJR+H Chartered Architects

A collection of abandoned farm sheds on the site provided the inspiration for the built form. The house is articulated and unified by a continuous roof. Built over one-and-a-half storeys the whole is divided into four tied elements – car port, garage/office, entrance/court, and house.

Special Category Awards presented on the night were:

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:

Blakeburn, Roxburghshire by A449 Ltd

Jo O’Hara, Head of Forestry Commission Scotland said:

“FC Scotland is delighted to work in partnership with Wood for Good in offering this award to celebrate how architects in Scotland make best use of wood as a sustainable material in design and construction, whilst providing carbon storage and delivering low carbon buildings.”

RIAS announces 11 winners in awardsSpecial Category Award – Conservation and Climate Change
The winner of the Historic Environment Scotland Award for Conservation and Climate Change was:

High Mill & Preparing Rooms, Verdant Works, Dundee by James F Stephen Architects

David Mitchell, Acting Chief Executive for Historic Environment Scotland said:

“The High Mill, dating from 1833, was the unused part of the wider Category A-listed Verdant Works, a surviving Dundee mill complex incorporating Scotland’s award-winning Jute Museum. Before the project started the High Mill, and the adjacent glazed-roofed preparing room, had deteriorated so badly they were facing collapse or demolition.

“We have been impressed by the Trust’s vision in saving this listed building, and the project itself which has been achieved for less than the cost of an equivalent new-build museum. The innovative approach has concentrated on the reuse of original components and salvaged materials maximising embodied energy, with new design following the building’s industrial aesthetic. Unusually, both the mill and preparing room are unheated, but contain a highly insulated pod structure hosting a multi-purpose education and function suite, toilets and kitchen. Costs saved on installing heating have helped enable the repair and reuse of the building. It has also allowed low running costs, as have the natural lighting from tall sash windows, natural ventilation and the installation of new low energy lighting. The project has achieved a high standard museum space through good design and attention to detail whilst securing the future of a nationally important historic building.

“Historic Environment Scotland is proud to have supported the project financially alongside the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

Special Category Award – Resource Efficiency
The winner of Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficiency Award was:

Tigh na Croit, Gorstan by HLM Architects

Petra Biberbach, Board Member of Zero Waste Scotland, presented HLM Architects with the special award for resource efficiency. She said:

“Zero Waste Scotland works to create a society where resources are valued and nothing is wasted. We support projects in a range of sectors which exemplify and help to bring important resource efficiency principles to life.

“Tigh-na-Croit is an outstanding example of the level of resource efficiency that can be achieved in residential housing. As a fully certified European ‘PassivHaus’, it meets a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency, and requires very little energy for space heating or cooling. Achieving 80% reduced energy consumption in a traditional steading design is both radical and inspiring. It’s an example of the innovation we’d like to see applied to homes and buildings across Scotland.”

Special Category Award – Emerging Architect
The winner of the Saint-Gobain Emerging Architect Award was:

Sarah Jane Storrie, PagePark Architects for The Saunders Centre, Glasgow

Stuart McKill, Sustainable Habitat Leader in Scotland, said:

“Saint-Gobain, represented by its 22 Brands operating in Scotland, is delighted to be involved with this award which represents our ambition to support the delivery of sustainable buildings that deliver comfort, health and wellbeing whilst helping to improve daily life by creating great places to live, work and play.

“In addition the award recognises the consideration of the Thermal, Audio, Visual and Indoor Air Comfort through its design and use of appropriate products all helping to create a great place to learn and educate the users.

“Sarah Jane, through her energy, enthusiasm and skill, is an exemplary young architect. The work she has undertaken for the Glasgow Academy is of the very highest standard. Hers is a name to watch.”

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

Glasgow Women’s Library by Collective Architecture

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

“The client for The Glasgow Women’s Library has delivered a facility that is inclusive and greatly valued by the local community as well as visitors from all over the world.

“The views of the local community were important to many aspects of the architect’s proposals. It is refreshing to see that local people have been involved in decisions about the design of the building. It is a worthy winner of the Client Award in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.”


If you require further information please contact Neil Baxter, Secretary & Treasurer
T: 0131 229 7545
M: 07770 483 934
E: nbaxter@rias.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

1. The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) was founded in 1916 and is the professional body for all Scottish architects with over 4,900 members. 

2. In order to simplify and improve the awards process in Scotland, the RIAS Council, in agreement with the RIBA, has established a ‘one-stop’, submission process. Entries submitted are now eligible to win the RIAS Awards, RIAS Special Category Awards, RIBA Awards for Scotland and RIBA Special Awards. Winners will also be eligible for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award and the RIBA Stirling Prize.


Posted on Friday 17th June 2016

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RIAS announces 11 winners in awards
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