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Malcolm Fraser scoops £25,000 top Scots honour

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Dance Base by Malcolm Fraser Architects has been named the best new building in Scotland. The £5 million dance studio in Edinburgh beat four other shortlisted schemes to win the RIAS's inaugural £25,000 Award for Architecture.

Malcolm Fraser, who received the news at a ceremony in Edinburgh last Friday, said the quality of all the shortlisted schemes reflected the growth of good design in the country. 'Just a few years ago there wouldn't have been much up there, ' he said.

'It's great that such a wee nation could be producing so much of worth. It's great to be part of a very exciting time.'

Dance Base is also one of the seven projects shortlisted for this year's AJ-backed Stirling Prize, and is currently rated third favourite in the betting.

'Anything can happen in the Stirling, ' Fraser said.

'Winning it would be an extraordinary bonus.'

The judging panel - sponsor Andrew Doolan, RIAS president Gordon Davies, Professor Andy MacMillan and Enric Miralles' widow Benedetta Tagliabue - said Dance Base is 'a most enjoyable and clever sequence of well-conceived spaces and circulation. Simple, direct, good architecture, memorable rooms and immaculate contemporary details. A clever solution for a difficult site.'

A total of 51 buildings were entered for consideration and five buildings were shortlisted (AJ 26.9.02). The other four shortlisted schemes were:

Stirling Tolbooth by Richard Murphy Architects; Mount Stuart Visitor Centre by Munkenbeck + Marshall; New Byre Theatre in St Andrews by Nicoll Russell Studios; and Graham Square housing by McKeown Alexander Architects.

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