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Page\Park scoops £25,000 RIAS Doolan Prize with ‘elegant’ Glasgow science centre

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Page\Park Architects’ Saunders Centre has seen off competition from the Stirling Prize-shortlisted Glasgow College by Reiach & Hall and Michael Laird Architects to be crowned the ‘best building in Scotland’

It is the second year running Reiach & Hall has missed out on the prize despite having a project make the Stirling Prize shortlist. Last year the Edinburgh-based practice’s Maggie’s Centre in Lanarkshire lost out to Sutherland Hussey Harris’ West Burn Lane housing scheme. 

City of Glasgow College was selected by the AJ’s alternative Stirling Prize jury as its winner, but the RIBA gave the award to Caruso St John’s Newport Street Gallery.

Page\Park’s Saunders Centre Science and Technology Centre in Glasgow was chosen as the ‘clear winner’ of the £25,000 RIAS Andrew Doolan Prize by this year’s judging panel, which included RIAS past presidents Iain Dickson, David Dunbar and Eleanor McAllister. 

The ‘splendid new addition to Glasgow Academy’s campus’ includes a new 178-seat auditorium alongside teaching spaces for physics, biology and chemistry. 

The project was selected from a shortlist of 11 RIAS Award-winning schemes including a lookout tower by Icosis Architects, Taylor Architecture Practice’s £3.8 million food production facility, a primary school by Walters & Cohen, and a timber pyramid by BTE Architecture which was a finalist in the AJ Small Projects Awards. 

The shortlist in full 

  • West Regent Street, Glasgow by Ryder Architecture
  • Blakeburn, Roxburghshire by A449
  • Castle MacLellan Foods, Kirkcudbright by Taylor Architecture Practice
  • City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus, Glasgow by Reiach & Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects
  • Forsinard Lookout Tower, Sutherland by Icosis Architects
  • Helensburgh Town Centre Public Realm, Helensburgh by Austin-Smith:Lord
  • “it’s bigger on the inside”, Edinburgh by David Blaikie Architects
  • Lairdsland Primary School, Kirkintilloch by Walters & Cohen Architects
  • The Pyramid Viewpoint, Dunbartonshire by BTE Architecture
  • Saunders Centre, Science & Technology Building, Glasgow by Page\Park Architects
  • Zinc-House, Angus by LJR+H Chartered Architects

Presenting the award at a ceremony held at the National Museum of Scotland tonight (2 November), cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: ‘Every year, through the shortlist for the Andrew Doolan Award, we see a display of the many benefits that great architecture can bring and we show the quality of Scottish design to the world.’

RIAS Andrew Doolan Prize 2016 winner

RIAS Andrew Doolan Prize 2016 winner

Source: Andrew Lee

Saunders Centre by Page\Park

Judges’ citation

‘This splendid new addition to Glasgow Academy’s campus is an elegant and subtle addition to the streetscape. The reinforced concrete structural frame is clad in a pattern of precast polished and honed finishes. This modular assembly rises from the podium for the raised ground floor, through a sequence of bay windows to a reinterpretation of the Glasgow dormer at roof level.

The corner entrance signals the main circulation stair, appropriately spacious and robust, which comfortably accommodates class changeovers. The ground floor incorporates a teaching kitchen and provides access to the 178-seat auditorium, complemented by a generous foyer that wraps around the sculptural, oak-clad, elliptical form of the inserted auditorium. The new theatre space is available for assembly and teaching on a daily basis but also offers a further hi-tech performance space for theatrical and public events, enhancing the Academy’s relationship with the West End community around.

On each upper floor, four general teaching labs, together with a sixth year lab, are arranged along a glazed break-out. An informal array of seating in these gathering spaces encourages chance meetings. The window bays overlook the historic main school.

Source: Jim Stephenson/Laura Mark

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