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AJ Architecture Awards 2019 winner: Workplace (up to 10,000sqm)

Cairngorms National Park Authority Headquarters by Moxon Architects has been named best workplace project up to 10,000m² at the 2019 AJ Architecture Awards

This L-shaped timber building – a new HQ for the Cairngorms National Park Authority in Grantown-on-Spey in the heart of the Scottish Highlands – achieves remarkable things on a limited budget, said the judges.

The project provides office and meeting spaces and reception areas and successfully avoids overshadowing the historic stone building to which it is linked. It is also highly sustainable. Natural daylight is maximised through large openable windows and generous rooflights while internal flexibility is aided by sliding panels and folding screens, allowing rooms to be subdivided when necessary. A wildflower roof contributes to the biodiversity of the wider landscaping strategy while the building’s cross-laminated timber frame is estimated to offset 47 years of operational carbon compared with a reinforced concrete frame.

The judges also admired the use of local craftsmanship and Scottish larch timber cladding in a predominantly stone-clad town.

‘The budget has been used very efficiently – this doesn’t look like a cheap building,’ said one judge. ‘It’s well connected with the local environment and carefully crafted and they have properly celebrated timber with these exteriors. This shows that you can make brilliant sustainable architecture that engages with the local community on a budget.’ 


  • Canolfan S4C Yr Egin by BDP
  • The Royal College of Pathologists by Bennetts Associates
  • The Schrödinger Building by Bogle Architects
  • Argal Workshop and Creative Studios by Gluckman Smith Architects
  • JTP Studios, Pennington Street Warehouse by JTP
  • Princelet Street by Piercy&Company
  • x+why by Squire & Partners


  • Gerard Daws, director and co-founder, Plan A Consultants
  • Andy Downey, director, Elliott Wood Partnership
  • Russ Hamilton, design partner, Farrells
  • Ellie Howard, senior project officer (regeneration), Greater London Authority