Top ten: 2019 RIAS Awards winners announced

V&A Dundee. Image credit: Hufton + Crow

THE V&A Dundee and Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience in Speyside were among the ten winners announced at the 2019 RIAS Awards. Other successful projects were: The Black House, Isle of Skye; Briongos MacKinnon House, Strathaven; Broomlands Primary School, Kelso; Collective on Calton Hill, Edinburgh; Mackintosh at the Willow, Glasgow; The Raining’s Stairs Development, Inverness; Scottish National Blood Tranfusion Service – The Jack Copland Centre, Edinburgh; and Tollcross Housing Association Offices, Glasgow.

Macallan Distillery. Image credit: Joas Souza

All ten projects will now comprise the longlist for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award, the winner of which will be announced later this year.

Briongos MacKinnon House. Image credit: Martin Lambie

Professor John Cole CBE Hon FRIAS, jury chair, said, “The journey to view the nineteen shortlisted projects, which, within a hectic but rewarding three-day period, took my fellow judges and myself through the intriguing Scottish borders, the self-confident central belt, and the glorious landscapes of the highlands and islands, was for all of us a reaffirmation of the fundamental importance of the ability of architecture at its best to positively influence the lives of individuals and communities.”

Broomlands Primary. Image credit: Andrew Lee

A number of Special Category Award winners were also revealed at the dinner in Edinburgh.

The winner of the Wood for Good/Scottish Forestry Award for the Best Use of Timber was The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience. Timber Award judge Jon Stevenson said, “The Macallan Distillery is an exceptional building. We were especially impressed by the use of Glulam and LVL as structural components in the roof domes but also were struck by the generous use of timber throughout the interior, and in particular the quality of design and craftsmanship throughout the building.”

The Historic Environment Scotland Award for Conservation and Climate Change went to Borders Distillery, Hawick. Steven Robb, deputy head of casework, heritage directorate at Historic Environment Scotland commented, “The quality of the entries this year was fantastic, and as ever, we had a difficult task choosing a winner. After careful consideration, we decided to focus on regeneration projects within economically disadvantaged town centres. Therefore, we are delighted to award Borders Distillery with the Historic Environment Scotland Award for Conservation and Climate Change. Borders Distillery took an inventive approach to both architectural conservation and climate change and is the first distillery to open in the Borders in almost 200 years.” 

The winner of the Saint-Gobain Emerging Architect Award was Emma Fairhurst at Collective Architecture for Collective on Calton Hill, Edinburgh. Stuart McKill, Saint-Gobain’s business support director said, “This project demonstrates the best in restoration and creative redevelopment across this important World Heritage site. In delivering this project Emma has brought together old and new architecture whist giving excellent consideration to the surrounding environment. The use of materials and a prism of contemporary culture add further to the project given the sites history whilst recognising what a “City Observatory” could mean today. The new structures and renovations within the site boundary are wholly appropriate delivering an ambience of light, warmth and comfort, creating a desire to explore further which is indeed the purpose. Without doubt Emma’s solution to the site will bring much interest, enjoyment and engagement to this project and all who visit for many years to come.”

The winner of the Scottish Government Scotland’s Client of the Year Award was The Willow Tea Rooms Trust for Mackintosh at the Willow, Glasgow.