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In pictures: Doolan Prize shortlist announced

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The AJ can reveal the 14-strong shortlist vying for the this year’s largest cash prize in British architecture: the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award

The finalists for this year’s Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award are made up of the 18 inaugural winners of RIAS’ own awards minus the projects which were up for the Doolan Prize last year.

In a break from tradition, the RIAS announced the shortlist last week at the same time as RIBA announced its national award winners. Previous winners of the £25,000 architecture prize include Archial Architects’ Small Animal Hospital (2009), Elder and Cannon’s Shettleston Housing Association offices (2010) and Gareth Hoskins’ £37 million overhaul of the National Museum of Scotland (2011). Supported by the Doolan family and the Scottish Government, the victor will be announced in November.

Meanwhile, this year’s winner of the RIAS/Forestry Commission Scotland Wood For Good Award for the Best Use of Timber has been announced as Gokay Deveci’s Model ‘D’ House at Insch, in Aberdeenshire.

  • Bogbain Mill, Lochussie by Maryburgh (budget confidential) 
    Rural Design
  • Cape Cove, Shore Road, Helensburgh (£450k)   
    Cameron Webster Architects
  • Corinthian Club, Glasgow (£4.5million)    
    G1 Group
  • Fore Street, Glasgow (£1.5million)
    Hypostyle Architects
  • Forth Valley College of Further and Higher Education, Alloa Campus (£12.3million)
    Reiach and Hall Architects
  • Heathfield Primary School, Ayr  (£3.7million)     
    Holmes Miller
  • Heriot’s Centre for Sport & Exercise, Edinburgh (budget confidential)
    LDN Architects
  • House at Borreraig, Skye (£470,000)  
    Dualchas Building Design
  • Loch Leven Bird Hide, Fife (£34.000 including foundations)
    Icosis Architects
  • Maggie’s Gartnavel, Glasgow (£2.8 million)
  • Model ‘D’ House, Insch (£140,000 exclusive of siteworks)
    Gokay Deveci Chartered Architect
  • Scotsman Steps, Edinburgh (£500,000)
    McGregor Bowes + Haworth Tompkins
  • Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh (£11.5million)
    Page\Park Architects
  • Wester Coates House, Edinburgh (budget confidential)
    Zone Architects

    Model D House by Gokay Deveci this year’s winner of the RIAS/Forestry Commission Scotland Wood For Good Award for the Best Use of Timber

    Source: Stuart Johnstone Photography

    Model D House by Gokay Deveci this year’s winner of the RIAS/Forestry Commission Scotland Wood For Good Award for the Best Use of Timber


Rab Bennetts of Bennetts Associates:

This year’s Doolan Prize highlights no less than 14 schemes, which is not what I would call a shortlist. The RIAS must avoid diluting that most valuable commodity: in-depth local media coverage that demonstrates why good architecture doesn’t come only from London. As the list includes this year’s RIBA National Award winners, it’s hard to see why the shortlist should be much larger than that, making due allowance for the different awards timetables.

Of the five national awards, Gareth Hoskins’ National Museum of Scotland and Reiach & Hall’s Dundee House are excluded, because they vied for last year’s Doolan prize. Hoskins eventually won. However the remaining three – by Page\Park, OMA and Rural Design – certainly hold their own with award-winners at any level.

But hold on a minute,where is Dame Zaha Hadid’s Transport Museum? Are there really 14 better buildings in Scotland this year or is there a little bit of anti-London baggage here? If the RIAS’ intention is to rise above the nationalist fray, it needs to do better than that.

Also, most of the major projects within this year’s crop were begun before insanely low fee bids strangled the recession-hit Scottish market, so what can the RIAS and the future Doolan judges do to protect and promote Scotland’s legacy?

Peter Wilson, director of the Wood Studio research centre at Edinburgh Napier University’s Forest Products Research Institute:
As with last year, the shortlist is really a long list – this year there are an astonishing 14 projects on it, four having been culled from the RIAS Awards list as they were listed for the Doolan Prize last time round so cannot be considered again. Of these fourteen, five have also received RIBA Awards so they, presumably, must stand as favourites, with OMA’s Maggie’s Gartnavel building already looking like a hot tip.
Much will depend on the judging of course, especially after the under-the-surface mutterings at last year’s award ceremony that the Doolan Prize had become predictable and that nothing much would change until the composition of the jury changed. This might be seen as sour grapes on the part of some, but the towering authority of Andy MacMillan has been a jury constant since the award was first launched a decade ago. Moreover, the jury is usually a very small band of invitees that always includes the RIAS president, already a judge on the RIAS Awards that produced the shortlist. There is certainly an argument to be made for a larger and different jury from the RIAS Awards precursor, but also for a considerably truncated shortlist.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • For clarification, I can confirm that the judging panel for this year’s RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award will consist of four architects and will not include the RIAS President as he was previously involved in the judging of the RIAS Awards which provides the shortlist for the Doolan. The late Andrew Doolan stipulated an all-architect panel and the chairmanship of Professor Andy MacMillan. We are happy to abide by his wishes. The new RIAS Awards mechanism, introduced this year, is designed to ensure that there is never any overlap in the judging process during any given year.

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