The 12 best new buildings in Scotland

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) have announced their 12 winners of the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award 2018 award.

Lochside House -  Haysom Ward Miller Architects
Lochside House - Haysom Ward Miller Architects

The award is designed to showcase and celebrate modern architecture in Scotland, with winners in major cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as more out of the way places like the Isle of Skye.

“These awards demonstrate that buildings of all scales and throughout the country are exemplary in their design, execution and in what they deliver for their clients, users and communities,” say RIAS.

The award is due to be presented in November, but here are all 12 winners, and what the judges said about them.

Barmulloch Residents Centre, Glasgow

What the judges said: “A very well designed and executed project. The building makes maximum use of the very tight site and has an elegant simplicity in the planning and detailing. A happy client reflected the success of the design solution and the quality of the spaces created.”


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Bath Street Collective Custom Build, Edinburgh

What the judges said: “A well-worked, innovative solution to housing on a gap site. The design skilfully links the adjoining Georgian and Edwardian buildings in terms of height and building line alignment.”

Boroughmuir High School, Edinburgh

What the judges said: “The judges were unanimous in their view that this was an exceptional project. Very impressive compact planning, allowing for large well-lit spaces. Excellent acoustic treatment and a very intelligent fire/smoke/ventilation strategy mean that both large multi-height atria are not enclosed by walls or screens.”

Clydebank Leisure Centre, West Dunbartonshire

What the judges said: “Successful addition to the local masterplan. This building was a clever delivery of a complex brief on a tight site. The external form and materials were confident whilst being restrained. The panel were impressed with the design solution with only marginal concerns over the quality of the pool environment.”


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Humpty House, Angus

What the judges said: “This project challenged some of the judges to be in total agreement. The over-riding view however was that this is a first-class building. In some respects, very stark, it nonetheless delivered at both the detail and broader aspects of its creation.”

Leith Fort, Edinburgh

What the judges said: “Clever interpretation of traditional Edinburgh Colony Housing for a modern development. Excellent realisation of a masterplan into a cohesive and well built “place”. Materials and detailing on the buildings were excellent.”

Lochside House, West Highlands

What the judges said: “This highly successful creation by the team of architect-client-builder impressed the judges. The scale, material choices, use of the setting and integration into the landscape were all excellent. A sustainable building making good use of wood was a delight to visit.”


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McEwan Hall, Edinburgh

What the judges said: “This project challenged the panel to agree a final conclusion on its merits. It is a skilful and well worked solution to a testing problem with a very successful outcome for the building. There were some reservations over the scale and cladding of the entrance pod. Some felt the metal fin cladding was too heavy and the entrance area less generous than it could have been.”

Nucleus, The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Caithness Archive, Wick

What the judges said: “The judges unanimously felt that this was an impressive industrial building which created an ethereal and beautifully sculpted building. Security issues in the design of the landscape did not detract from the panel’s view that this was an excellent building.”

St Cecilia’s Hall Concert Room and Music Museum, Edinburgh

What the judges said: “Very cleverly designed solution to a constrained development in the historic Old Town. An elegant solution to difficult and complicated brief. This is an outstanding project.”


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The Black Shed, Isle of Skye

What the judges said: “Initially the panel anticipated that this might be just another of this now frequently used building form in the Western extremes of the Scottish countryside. It was apparent however when visited that this building was elevated to a higher level. The immaculate standard of detailing, both internal and external, demonstrated that the client-architect team had worked to deliver a very fine, sustainable and energy efficient outcome.”

The Engine Shed, Stirling

What the judges said: “The judges were unanimous in their view that this was an outstanding project. The re-use of the existing elements of the building together with the very subtle and well executed extensions demonstrated considerable skill.”