THE transformation of a former mill in Dingwall, the conversion of an old printworks in Dundee and a new cancer care centre in Glasgow have received the highest honours at Scotland’s architectural “Oscars”.
These buildings, along with the flagship revamps of two of Edinburgh’s leading attractions, will now be submitted to compete for Britain’s major architectural prize.
Last night’s awards ceremony, at the Glasgow Hilton Hotel, was held after the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) received more than 71 nominations for their inaugural awards.
The event was the culmination of a shake-up of the architectural awards system in Scotland under which Britain’s top award for architects, the Stirling Prize, run by Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and the already-established Doolan Prize – for Scotland’s best building and run by the RIAS – have come together for the first time.
The National Museum of Scotland and Scottish National Portrait Gallery, both in Edinburgh, have already collected a string of honours since they were unveiled last year.
Now the RIAS’s panel of judges has rated them alongside the transformation of the remains of Bogbain Mill into a private home, the creation of Dundee’s new civic headquarters from DC Thomson’s old warehouse, and the new Maggie’s Centre, at Gartnavel Hospital.
The five overall winners were chosen from an initial shortlist of 23 projects, some 18 of which were also given awards last night, with the top five named as the winners of the RIBA Awards For Scotland.
Other projects to be honoured included the conversion of the Corinthian bar and restaurant complex in Glasgow, a new campus for Forth Valley College in Alloa, the transformation of the run-down Scotsman Steps in Edinburgh, a housing development in Lerwick, and a revamp of Linlithgow’s historic Burgh Halls.
The judging panel included singer and broadcaster Dr Anne Lorne Gillies, academic Peter Wilson of Edinburgh Napier University, and London-based architect Robert Dye.
In a statement the judges remarked of the conversion of Bogbain Mill, at Lochussie,: “This ingenious conversion of a rural mill creates a home within a landscaped setting which draws upon its industrial history to create a delightful contemporary living space.”
Of the new cancer care centre at Gartnavel, the judges noted: “Maggie’s Centres provide practical and emotional support. They rely on exceptional architecture and innovative spaces to make people feel better.”
Dundee City Council was praised for helping to transform a historic printworks in a “previously run-down part of the city centre.”
The new-look portrait gallery was said to have been a “splendid restoration”
Sholto Humphries, president of the RIAS, said: “We had 71 submissions from throughout Scotland, ranging in scale from a few thousand pounds to over £60m. We cut this down to a brilliant shortlist of 23 projects.”
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