RIAS Awards 2017

Architecture in Scotland lacks the confidence of the pre-recession years, but Colin Harris finds cause for optimism in the attitude of young, inquisitive practices. Scroll down for the full list of winners

Scotland feels as if it has been in turmoil for several years, struggling to get its head above the post-recession/post-Indyref water, not really knowing what it is or wants to be. Long gone are the brave confident clients of the Blair era that asked us to push ourselves, to think internationally as well as internally. Their disappearance has resulted in our more influential architects resorting to the relative security of the limited housing association work available and some of the larger practices running the treadmill of education and health sector commissions.

On the plus side a plethora of young architects, who decided to stay, have set up new, inquisitive practices trying to develop something out of literally nothing. With such difficult early years I have no doubt they value our society, culture and architectural heritage in a very different way to previous generations. As these practices grow I can see Scottish architecture becoming increasingly dissimilar to the commercialism of the large global conurbations, with their value of environment outweighing form and aesthetics.

Studying in Scotland 20 years ago, especially in Glasgow, the architectural legacy of the Georgian and Victorian city builders was the central structure to our urban education. For me it was so intrinsic to becoming an architect it felt there were few alternative places to practise.

Beyond the city the landscape is the other reason I stay. Even in central Glasgow, Edinburgh or Perth the natural landscape always dominates the horizon, with the timeless stone-built streets feeling like gorges carved from the rock. In Edinburgh in particular, the complexity of the city’s three-dimensional structure never fails to astonish. It is no surprise that it is here, in the heart of the capital, where two of the most interesting current projects have been commissioned, namely the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens and the new home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in St Andrew Square. Unfortunately few local practices have been deemed good enough to compete and globalisation fever has resulted in very internationally rich shortlists. We will endeavour to work harder.

Colin Harris, director, Sutherland Hussey Harris


RIAS Awards 2017 – The full list

Click on images to find out more

City of Glasgow College City Campus

Michael Laird Architects

City of Glasgow College City Campus, Michael Laird Architects and Reiach and Hall Architects
City of Glasgow College City Campus, Michael Laird Architects and Reiach and Hall Architects Credit: Reiach and Hall

Due West 

cameronwebsterarchitects

Due West, cameronwebsterarchitects.
Due West, cameronwebsterarchitects. Credit: Dapple

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries

Richard Murphy Architects

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, Richard Murphy Architects
Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, Richard Murphy Architects Credit: M Lambie

Eastwood

Hoskins Architects

Eastwood Health and Care Centre, Hoskins Architects.
Eastwood Health and Care Centre, Hoskins Architects. Credit: Dapple

Edinburgh Road

A449 Architects

Edinburgh Road, A449 Architects.
Edinburgh Road, A449 Architects. Credit: Matthew Johnson

Fernaig Cottage

Scampton and Barnett Architects

Fernaig Cottage, east elevation, Scampton and Barnett Architects.
Fernaig Cottage, east elevation, Scampton and Barnett Architects.

Glendale

Glasgow City Council

Glendale Primary School and Bunsgoil Ghàidhlig Ghleann Dail, Glasgow City Council.
Glendale Primary School and Bunsgoil Ghàidhlig Ghleann Dail, Glasgow City Council.

James Gillespie's Campus

jmarchitects

James Gillespie's Campus, jmarchitects.
James Gillespie's Campus, jmarchitects. Credit: Andrew Lee

Moray Place

Somner Macdonald Architects

Moray Place, Somner Macdonald Architects.
Moray Place, Somner Macdonald Architects. Credit: Sean Gaule

Newhouse of Auchengree

Ann Nisbet Studio

Newhouse of Auchengree, Ann Nisbet Studio.
Newhouse of Auchengree, Ann Nisbet Studio. Credit: David Barbour

Powis Place

Carson and Partners

Powis Place, Carson & Partners.
Powis Place, Carson & Partners. Credit: Keith Hunter

Rockvilla

Hoskins Architects

Rockvilla, Hoskins Architects.
Rockvilla, Hoskins Architects. Credit: Dapple

The shortlist for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award, supported by the Doolan family and the Scottish Government (to be presented in November at the National Museum of Scotland) consists of all 12 of the RIAS Awards 2017 winners above.

Special category awards

Wood for Good/Forestry Commission Scotland Award for the Best Use of Timber: Culardoch Shieling, Aberdeenshire by Moxon Architects

Historic Environment Scotland Award for Conservation and Climate Change: Dalkeith Corn Exchange by Michael Laird Architects

Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficiency: Fernaig Cottage, Wester Ross by Scampton and Barnett Architects

RIAS President’s Award for Placemaking: Holyrood North Student Accommodation and Outreach Centre, Edinburgh by jmarchitects, Oberlanders Architects and John C Hope Architects

Saint-Gobain Emerging Architect Award: Neil Taylor, Taylor Architecture Practice (TAP) for Aerial Adventures, East Kilbride and the Scottish National Waterski Centre, Dunfermline

Scottish Government Scotland’s Client of the Year Award: Fife Council for Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries by Richard Murphy Architects