Best buildings in Scotland 2019 winners

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has announced the 10 winners of its 2019 awards.

Jury chairman Prof John Cole said the journey around the country to view the projects had been “a reaffirmation” of the ability of architecture to positively influence the lives of individuals and communities.

The winners will form the long list for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award, which will be announced in October.

They are:

The Black House

Image copyright David Barbour
Image caption The Black House, Isle of Skye (Dualchas Architects Ltd for a private client)

The judges said there was “a persuasive integrity” to the rigorous use of pure rectangular forms and the strictly limited palette of colour and materials.

They said they had “succeeded in creating a calm, inviting and exceptional home”.

The Briongos MacKinnon House

Image copyright Martin Lambie
Image caption Briongos MacKinnon House, Strathaven (Richard Murphy Architects Limited for Colin MacKinnon)

The Briongos Mackinnon house was designed to the very specific and individualistic brief of the clients who enjoy microlight flying and own the airfield on which the house sits.

The judges described it as “cheerfully idiosyncratic” and said it fitted in with the neighbouring semi-industrial hangar buildings.

They said it was a “light, airy and joyful building” which was both a family home and a workspace.

Broomlands Primary School

Image copyright Andrew Lee
Image caption Broomlands Primary School, Kelso – contract value £8m (Stallan-Brand Architecture + Design Ltd for Scottish Borders Council)

The school’s most “distinctive” feature is the spiky roof, which has function of forming canopies for outdoor learning activities.

Inside there are “flexible” teaching spaces which have direct access to external play areas and the mature landscaped grounds.

Collective on Calton Hill

Image copyright Susie Lowe
Image caption Collective on Calton Hill, Edinburgh – contract value £4m (Collective Architecture for City of Edinburgh Council and Collective)

The judges said the project on Calton Hill was the result of a “strong and highly successful collaboration” between the two clients and the design team.

They praised the “bold, contemporary interventions” as well as the “sensitively-restored historic buildings on this site of national significance”.

The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience

Image copyright Joas Souza
Image caption The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience, Craigellachie – contract value £140m (Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners for Edrington)

The judges said the rolling roofscape of the building echoed the form of the surrounding hills.

Inside, they noted a “sense of drama throughout this hugely impressive building”.

Mackintosh at the Willow

Image copyright Alexander Fraser
Image caption Mackintosh at the Willow, Glasgow (Simpson & Brown for Willow Tea Rooms Trust)

Bringing Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s famous tea rooms back to life was described by the judges as a remarkable combination of restoration and new-build.

They praised the level of detail of research which led to the “truly excellent quality of restoration achieved”.

The Raining’s Stairs Development

Image copyright Ewen Weatherspoon
Image caption The Raining’s Stairs Development, Inverness (Trail Architects for Ark Estates)

This social housing development is an “inspired but pragmatic and affordable resolution” of a difficult, extremely steep and almost inaccessible site located in the centre of Inverness, the judges said.

It has transformed and revitalised an all but abandoned no-go area of the city, they said.

Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service – The Jack Copland Centre, Edinburgh – contract value £30m (Reiach and Hall Architects for Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service)

The judges call it a “a highly resolved and elegantly controlled solution to a demanding technical brief”.

They described it as an “open, bright, engaging and uplifting place of work”.

Tollcross Housing Association Offices

Image copyright Andrew Lee
Image caption Tollcross Housing Association Offices, Glasgow – contract value £2.92m (Elder and Cannon Architects for Tollcross Housing Association)

The new headquarters for Tollcross Housing Association was described by the judges as “a rigorously ordered and beautifully detailed solution” for a significant site.

The open-plan office spaces are arranged as a series of rising, interconnecting volumes linked by a central sculptural staircase.

They said the result was an “elegant and refined building”.

V&A Dundee

Image copyright HuftonCrow
Image caption V&A Dundee – contract value £80.1m – (Kengo Kuma & Associates with PiM.studio Architects and James F Stephen Architects for Dundee City Council)

The RIAS judges said Scotland’s first dedicated design museum was itself an example of the highest level of architectural ingenuity.

“This building simultaneously stimulates, engages and intrigues visitors,” they said.

All images copyrighted

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