RIAS unveils 2017 awards shortlist

David Rogers

Dalkeith Corn Exchange by Michael Laird Architects

Source: David Barbour

Winners named in June

A primary school in Wick, a lochside waterski centre and a rural refuge are among 27 schemes that have been shortlisted for Scotland’s top architecture award.

The RIAS shortlist for its 2017 awards was whittled down from 84 entries and range from a £33,000 workshop and sleepover space for children in Edinburgh by Chambers McMillan Architects to a £47 million student accommodation scheme in the Scottish capital by JM Architects and Oberlanders Architects.

RIAS president Willie Watt said: “Year on year the quality of Scottish architecture is on the rise. Despite an economic climate which continues to squeeze fees and challenge professionals’ ability to deliver, Scotland’s architects are delivering work of truly international quality to serve our citizens and communities.”

Judges for this year’s awards include Stuart McKnight from Whitworth Art Gallery architect MUMA, Lorraine Landels, director of strategic relationships at engineer Buro Happold, and Norwegian architect Ole Wiig.

Winners will be announced on June 14.


The shortlist

(Listed alphabetically with brief project description):

Aerial Adventures, East Kilbride (contract value not for publication)

Taylor Architecture Practice

“This ‘Hub’ provides a mix of activities which complement the original retail environment, a ‘Hi-Ride assault course, a climbing wall, a café and adventure play.”

City of Glasgow College – City Campus, Glasgow (contract value not for publication)

Michael Laird Architects / Reiach and Hall Architects

“This complex of buildings in themselves constitute a ‘city’ within the city, with high-tech classrooms, lecture theatres and specialist facilities.”

Dalkeith Corn Exchange, Dalkeith (contract value not for publication)

Michael Laird Architects

“This formerly abandoned Jacobean-style, market hall, has been fully refurbished, made accessible to all and brought back into positive public use.”

Due West, Argyll & Bute (contract value not for publication)

cameronwebster architects

“This home maximises stunning views from a spectacular cliff-top location, providing shelter, intimacy and a sunny, glazed, living area.”

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, Dunfermline (contract value: £9.1m)

Richard Murphy Architects

“Museum space, art galleries, a local history reading room, children’s library, café and meeting rooms are integrated with the world’s first Andrew Carnegie Library.”

Eastwood Health and Care Centre, Glasgow (contract value: £12.1m)

Hoskins Architects

“NHS, Council run services and four GP practices are deftly brought together in this innovative community ‘Hub’.”

Edinburgh Road, Musselburgh (contract value not for publication)

A449 LTD

“Built into the sea wall at Musselburgh, a new timber-clad extension, overlooking the beach, houses double height living, kitchen and dining spaces.”

Fernaig Cottage, Wester Ross (contract value not for publication)

Scampton and Barnett Architects

“This project involved the renovation, adaption and extension of a dilapidated former shepherd’s longhouse. Original stone walls were retained.”

FetLor Youth Club, Edinburgh (contract value: £1.5m)

James Robertson Architect

“The clients sought a building quick to construct, economical, easily maintained and robust, on a tight budget, giving members and staff the special character they wanted.”

Glendale Primary School and Bunsgoil Ghàidhlig Ghleann Dail, Glasgow (contract value: £12.2m)

Glasgow City Council – DRS Project Management & Design

“The key challenge was integrating two school populations while maintaining individual identities. A central atrium and a flexible assembly/gym/dining /drama hall are shared.”

Holyrood North Student Accommodation and Outreach Centre, Edinburgh (contract value: £47m)

jmarchitects and Oberlanders Architects

“This is a new village within the medieval plan of Edinburgh Old Town. Lost streets and passageways are reinstated, providing more than 1,100 student rooms.”

INEOS Headquarters, Grangemouth (contract value not for publication)

Michael Laird Architects

“This new landmark reinforces corporate identity and will serve as a catalyst for future development in an understated, elegant building.”

James Gillespie’s Campus, Edinburgh (contract value: £28.5m)


“Five new buildings vary from single to three storeys to create transformational teaching spaces from a simple palette of materials.”

Moray Place, Edinburgh (contract value not for publication)

Somner Macdonald Architects

“The challenge was to create “one of the best apartments in Edinburgh”, respecting the original building while considering concerns about city living.”

Newhouse of Auchengree, North Ayrshire (contract value not for publication)

Ann Nisbet Studio

“This contemporary farmhouse draws on North Ayrshire’s rural vernacular to create a building that reflects the special architectural identity of the area.”

Noss Primary School, Wick (contract value not for publication)

Ryder Architecture

“This new primary is composed of a series of extruded linear wings accommodating a series of dynamic internal and external spaces.”

Oriam – Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre, Edinburgh (contract value: £24m)

Reiach and Hall Architects

“Designed for high-performance athletes as well as students and the public, Oriam is organised along two parallel linear routes, separate by an indoor 3g pitch.”

Pennywell Residential Regeneration, Edinburgh (contract value not for publication)

Barton Wilmore

“These apartment blocks are designed to be tenure “blind”, with no visual distinction between affordable rented and for sale. Zinc-clad ‘feature gables’ add visual interest.”

Portobello High School, Edinburgh (contract value: £30m)


“This is the largest capacity high school in Edinburgh, catering for 1400 pupils. The plan encourages departmental collaboration and independent learning.”

Powis Place, Aberdeen (contract value: £10.5m)

Carson & Partners

“This student accommodation features a sheltered forecourt, a glazed common room and reception areas. The, six-storey, building accommodates nearly 200 students.”

Rockvilla – National Theatre of Scotland HQ, Glasgow (contract value: £4.9m)

Hoskins Architects

“This base for National Theatre of Scotland brings together formerly scattered departments. The building’s industrial aesthetic is appropriate for the vision of a ‘creative factory’.”

Rosefield Home Studio, Edinburgh (contract value: £33k)

Chambers McMillan Architects Ltd

“This workshop, studio, den and sleepover space for children and adults to hang-out, was converted from a stone garage at the end of the garden.”

Ruins Studio, Dumfries (contract value: £430k)

Lily Jencks Studio + Nathanael Dorent

“This rural ‘refuge’ rises from the ruins of a 19th century farm. The curvilinear interior embraces kitchen, study, lounge and dining, ‘delaminating’ to create private rooms.”

Scottish National Waterski Centre, Dunfermline (contract value: £125k)

Taylor Architecture Practice

“This reworking of the original, multi-use, building at the loch-side waterski centre at Townhill Country Park is a bright and expansive space.”

Thistle Foundation Centre of Wellbeing, Edinburgh (contract value: not for publication)


“This facility offers a warm and welcoming environment to support those with disabilities, helping them to live independent lives in their own homes.”

Tinhouse, Isle of Skye (contract value: £110k)

Rural Design

“Tinhouse celebrates the corrugated metal sheeting commonly used in agricultural buildings in a contemporary way. Internally, timber, concrete and plywood add to the ‘handmade’ palette.”

Windmill Community Campus, Kirkcaldy (contract value: £26.5m)

Fife Council Property Services

“This community campus in Kirkcaldy integrates Viewforth High School, Rosslyn ASN School, a public library and a Council customer service-point around a central internal ‘street’.”




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