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Doolan Prize: Archial's Small Animal Hospital lands £25,000 first prize


Archial Architects has won the 2009 RIAS Andrew Doolan Award Best Building in Scotland Award with its unique and ingenious’ new veterinary hospital in Glasgow

The practice’s Small Animal Hospital in the grounds of Garscube Estate saw off 10 other shortlisted projects to land the £25,000 prize - the largest architectural jackpot in the UK.

Singled out as ‘a highly complex work of architecture’, the 4,500m² building was praised for its relationship with the landscape and its interior simplicity.

The judges said: ‘The building is set unobtrusively into its setting, a massive grassed roof creating a new hillside within the landscape.

‘[its] great triumph is the unique and ingenious way it integrates a very substantial medical facility within the parkland setting of Glasgow University’s Garscube Estate. However, the rooftop ‘lantern’ and the boldly defined entrance ensure that this superb building declares its presence and scale.

‘This is a highly complex work of architecture which sets new standards in the design of buildings for veterinary medicine.’

‘This is a highly complex work of architecture which sets new standards in the design of buildings for veterinary medicine.’

Jury chair, Andrew MacMillan, a close friend of the award’s founder, Andrew Doolan, said: ‘Doolan’s belief that this award would reflect the growing confidence of post devolution Scotland has been borne out by shortlists which get better and better year on year. While the Small Animal Hospital was the judge’s unanimous choice as winner a number of other buildings came very close. Scottish architecture is in remarkably good heart.’

Unusually the judges decided to name those handful of contenders which nearly clinched this year’s award.

Judge Ian Ritchie said: ‘There were five projects on the shortlist which stand comparison with the best new architecture anywhere in Europe - the Beatson Institute New Cancer Research Facility, Glasgow by Reiach & Hall Architects, the Boathouse at Balnearn, Loch Tay by McKenzie Strickland Associates, the Infirmary Street Baths, Edinburgh by Malcolm Fraser Architects, the New Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow by Reiach and Hall Architects [as well as] the Small Animal Hospital, Glasgow by Archial Architects.

‘Scotland’s architects are currently producing work which is worthy of international recognition. Let’s hope the Doolan Awards are a major step in that direction.’

To see the full shortlist click here.

Last year the Award was split between two firms Elder and Cannon Architects and Bennetts Associates (click here for full story)



Readers' comments (6)

  • This really shouldn't credited to Archial seeing as it is the work of Glasgow's Davis Duncan architects...this building was well advanced on site over a year before Archial swallowed the practice whole...but I digress, congratulations to all involved.

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  • feriHa  ozTURK

    it is a luxury hospital i have ever seen,but it is built for Very Important Pet's..this is a achievement just for architecture..so can they build the same building for poor countries children..

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  • Infirmary Street Baths is a re-use of a listed building; is this new architecture?

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  • For clarity, Davis Duncan Architects was purchased by the SMC Group (now Archial) in September 2006.

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  • I have to say that I am glad that out of the short list, the "Right" building won the award. This has clearly been thought about and sends out the correct message.

    I am looking forward to more buildings of this quality in design coming around.

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  • Congratulations to all those involved in what has materialised in to what looks like a great building.

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