This year’s RIAS Awards winners include a clutch of new houses, two impressive new buildings for leading Scottish universities, and a new headquarters at the home of Scottish golf.
The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has today revealed seven extraordinary new buildings as winners of the 2023 RIAS Awards.
The RIAS Awards are Scotland’s national architecture awards, and demonstrate the quality and breadth of architectural endeavour in Scotland. As the 2023 winners demonstrate, all types and sizes of architectural projects can win a RIAS Award.
Buildings are assessed by an expert jury who visit each project in person, and consider the buildings’ architectural integrity, usability and context, delivery and execution, and sustainability.
The winners of the RIAS Awards will now become the ‘longlist’ for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award – one of the most significant architecture prizes in the world – with the shortlist announced in July ahead of the winner announcement in November.
Recipients of the 2023 RIAS Awards are also eligible for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) National Awards.
Tamsie Thomson, chief executive at the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, said: “From simple yet elegant new homes that respond to varied Scottish landscapes, to complex higher education and corporate buildings created for some of Scotland’s world-leading institutions, the winners of the 2023 RIAS Awards demonstrate that architecture in Scotland continues to have the power to delight and inspire. Great architecture happens when architects and clients can come together with a clear focus on collaboration and quality. This year’s winners show that regardless of setting, scale and budget, it is careful procurement and partnership that creates buildings that are truly special.”
Here are the seven winners.
1. Campus Central, University of Stirling - by Page\Park Architects
This landmark redevelopment project at the heart of the University of Stirling’s campus combines the refurbishment and extension of an existing 1970s building to create an exceptional student experience, including new study and learning spaces alongside enhanced student support facilities. Through adaptive re-use, the project establishes a welcoming and vibrant face for students and staff at the University, and for members of the pubic visiting the Macrobert Arts Centre. The University’s parkland campus contains many architecturally important buildings: Page\Park Architects’ Campus Central is recognised as a worthy new addition. Photo: Paul Zanre
2. Cuddymoss, North Ayrshire - by Ann Nisbet Studio
This new house is located within and around a ruined building in the Ayrshire landscape – formed over two hundred years to house people and cattle. Ann Nisbet Studio conceived the project as a ‘building within a ruin’ – taking a quiet, honest and restrained approach that brings the building gently back to life as a home while retaining the character of the ruin. In the wrong hands, the ruin could have been over-domesticated or romanticised: instead it retains its character and relationship to the landscape, thanks to a light-touch and respectful approach, as well as a careful use of materials. A simple timber-clad second building, connected to the ruin by a glazed link, provides additional space. Photo: David Barbour
3. Half of Eleven, Isle of Skye - by Dualchas Architects
Half of Eleven was designed by Dualchas Architects as a self-build house, which the owners have built themselves on a modest budget as they work to regenerate their long-held but neglected croft in the coastal township of Breakish. The new house appears as a simple and unobtrusive addition to the landscape, with large windows in the main living space providing beautiful views, and timber cladding used to allow the building to blend naturally with its surroundings. The extensive use of timber continues inside, bringing texture and warmth to the home’s bright and airy spaces. This project demonstrates that architecture does not need large footprints and budgets to create rural buildings of great character. Photo: David Barbour
4. Hundred Acre Wood, Argyll and Bute - by Denizen Works
Denizen Works’ clients set out to create a home for themselves and their large family: a place that would reflect their personalities, provide a lasting legacy for the family, and do justice to its setting within a stunning landscape overlooking Loch Awe. The design draws upon Scotland’s architectural heritage as well as the sculpture of Eduardo Chillida which, like the house, evokes a sense of carved solid mass which is well-suited to the exposed site and harsh weather. Quirky touches include cladding created with recycled TV screens to create a contemporary take on traditional Scottish harling, and a bathroom with two copper baths side by side, looking out upon the rocky landscape. Photo: Gilbert McCarragher