Reiach and Hall Architects has scooped this year’s RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award with its Pier Arts Centre in Orkney.
The Edinburgh-based practice, which also had its new arts faculty building for the University of St Andrews shortlisted, saw off the likes of Zaha Hadid, previous winners Page/Park, and Gareth Hoskins to land the prestigious prize.
In total seven buildings fought it out for the £25,000 cash award – currently the biggest prize in British Architecture. However, the judges were particularly impressed with the ‘seemingly effortless way’ Reiach and Hall’s gallery in Stromness sat with its surroundings.
The Pier Arts Centre houses a permanent gallery space, showcasing a collection of British contemporary art, and new temporary galleries.
Jury member and past RIAS president Douglas Read said: ‘The jury had considerable debate in cutting the 20 entries down to the shortlist of seven.
‘That this should be so is a tribute to strength of Scottish architecture today.
‘The jury was particularly impressed with The Pier Arts Centre because of the seemingly effortless way in which the new gallery has been settled in beside its neighbours as an integral part of the townscape,’ Read added.
The other judges were Louisa Hutton, director of Sauerbruch Hutton Architects; Richard Murphy, director of Richard Murphy Architects; and Rob Joiner, director of Reidvale Housing Association.