Five extraordinary buildings competing to be Scotland’s building of the year

Two pioneering new schools, two exceptional workplaces and a mid-century architectural masterpiece are now competing for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award.

Together they demonstrate how, thanks to the skill and talent of Scottish architects, everyday buildings can be transformed into extraordinary places.

The award is named in memory of its founder and patron, the inspired architect/developer Andy Doolan, who died in 2004. The architects of the winning building receive a £10,000 cash prize.

The award would not exist without Andy Doolan’s extraordinary generosity and vision, and his family have kindly continued their support. The Scottish Government also generously supports the award.

Quarry Studios near Ballater has been shortlisted for the Best Building in Scotland Award (©Tim Soar)

Among the shortlist is Quarry Studios, by Moxon Architects, a new office and community cafe near Ballater.

Moxon Architects’ own office is a low-lying building, surrounded by thick forest, tucked into the bowl of a former quarry in the Cairngorm National Park.

The building combines a studio and café; a private and a public face, with the latter providing valuable amenity to the small community. It is welcoming and accessible, with a layout that is conceptually tied to the landscape.

The lightweight building nestles into its site, in harmony, and was designed to support local labour through the promotion of traditional trades and contemporary construction techniques.

Chris Stewart PRIAS, President of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, said: “It is exciting to see these five remarkable buildings on the shortlist for the Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award. Our homes, schools and offices form the backdrop to our everyday lives, and this year’s shortlist shows how architects can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

"This year’s shortlist also highlights the relevance of architecture to many of society’s most pressing issues – whether that is climate change, young people’s mental health or the future of the workplace.

"I am proud of Scotland’s architecture profession and this year’s shortlist demonstrates why it should be celebrated.”

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