Three Edinburgh building projects among Scotland’s buildings of the year

A trio of Edinburgh buildings are among the winners of this year’s Scotland’s national architecture awards.
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Architects and building clients behind the Edinburgh Printmakers multi-use arts complex, King’s Stables Road home and hotel development and the Bayes Centre at Edinburgh University have each scooped a Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) accolade.

The three Edinburgh buildings are among 14 RIAS winners including exemplary new housing, education and healthcare facilities, as well as a new training centre in Inverclyde for Scotland’s sporting champions, a temporary museum in Helensburgh housing a Charles Rennie Mackintosh masterpiece, and a moveable micro home in Skye.

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Edinburgh Printmakers, by Page/Park Architects, is the only surviving structure from the Castle Mills industrial complex by Dundee Street where nearly two million pairs of rubber boots were made for the British Army in World War I.

Part of the development in King's Stables Road. Pic: Paul ZanrePart of the development in King's Stables Road. Pic: Paul Zanre
Part of the development in King's Stables Road. Pic: Paul Zanre

The derelict building was redeveloped into a welcoming multi-use arts complex. Judges particularly praised the opening up of the top floor to create a wonderful naturally-lit printing studio where artists now work together.

The King’s Stables Road project, by Fletcher Joseph Associates, is a mix of private and rented accommodation - including student flats and a hotel - which transformed a former council depot into a lively, attractive environment.

The judges described it as a “unique and successful development carefully tailored to the site” in the old town.

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The £45 million Bayes Centre, by Bennetts Associates, was opened in Potterrow in October 2018 and provides spaces for about 650 researchers, students and other partners over five floors. It was designed to enable collaboration between different users in the data industry.

King's Stables Road.King's Stables Road.
King's Stables Road.

The awards judges described the building as a “rigorous and adaptable design that should robustly meet the changing requirements of the university.”

RIAS president, Christina Gaiger, said: “I am delighted to see these fantastic Edinburgh buildings winning RIAS Awards. They are each terrific projects and great examples of how architecture can make a real difference to places and people's lives.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of our built environment to individuals and communities, and the RIAS Awards are a moment to pause and celebrate the incredible difference that architects are making across the country.

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“This year’s RIAS Awards demonstrate the critical role architecture can play–whether that is delivering better homes and public services, addressing climate change, celebrating our shared culture and heritage, or simply giving moments of real delight. There is a real breadth in this year’s clutch of RIAS Awards, demonstrating the versatility of the profession, and each of them is a very worthy winner.”

Edinburgh Printmakers. Pic: Jim StephensonEdinburgh Printmakers. Pic: Jim Stephenson
Edinburgh Printmakers. Pic: Jim Stephenson

All types and sizes of architectural projects can win a RIAS award, and an expert panel of judges look at each project’s architectural integrity, usability and context, delivery and execution, and sustainability.

The winners of the RIAS Awards will become the ‘longlist’ for the RIAS Andrew Doolan BestBuilding in Scotland Award. The shortlist for the 2021 Andrew Doolan Award will be announced on 30 September, with the winner announced on 30 November.

The RIAS was founded in 1916 as the professional body for all chartered architects in Scotland and is the foremost institute inthe country dealing with architecture and the built environment.

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Inside the Bayes Centre. Pic: Keith HunterInside the Bayes Centre. Pic: Keith Hunter
Inside the Bayes Centre. Pic: Keith Hunter

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