Scotland's building of the year: The five extraordinary structures competing for the prize

Two pioneering new schools, two exceptional workplaces and a mid-century architectural masterpiece have been shortlisted to be crowned Scotland’s best building.

Monday, 25th July 2022, 4:08 pm
Updated Monday, 25th July 2022, 4:10 pm

The structures are competing for the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland’s (RIAS) Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award – the pinnacle of the body’s annual awards programme.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the RIAS Doolan Award, established to find and celebrate the best building in Scotland each year, and named in memory of its founder and patron, the architect/developer Andy Doolan, who died in 2004.

All types of architectural projects in Scotland are eligible, including new-build, regeneration, restoration, extensions and interiors. Buildings are assessed by an expert jury, which looks at each project’s architectural integrity, usability and context, delivery and execution, and sustainability.

RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award 2022 shortlist.

The architects of the winning building receive a £10,000 cash prize, making this one of the most significant architecture awards in the world.

The shortlist, drawn from the winners of the 2022 RIAS Awards, is:

Forth Valley College – Falkirk Campus, Falkirk by Reiach and Hall Architects

The new Falkirk Campus for Forth Valley marks the culmination of a decade-long estates programme, and has been billed as a remarkable period of collaboration between the college and Reiach and Hall Architects. With a focus on science and technology, engineering, sport and healthcare, the project embodies a progressive approach to education where inclusion and respect are key, enhanced by cutting-edge classrooms, flexible spaces and advanced technology.

High Sunderland, Galashiels.

High Sunderland, Galashiels by Loader Monteith

A 1957 Category A-listed modernist icon designed by Peter Womersley, the building’s future was in jeopardy following a fire in 2017. But its new owners appointed Loader Monteith to undertake a major restoration, with the result combining a forensic approach to building conservation and reuse, while improving energy performance.

Jedburgh Grammar Campus, Jedburgh by Stallan-Brand Architecture + Design

The concept of ‘nurture’ is generally confined to early years education – but not at Jedburgh Grammar, thanks to a design that prioritises pupils’ mental health and well-being. Stallan-Brand Architecture + Design’s approach has created flexible spaces and, instead of generic classrooms, offers a variety of places for students to learn, present, socialise, make items and retreat.

Forth Valley College, Falkirk.

Lockerbie Sawmill, Lockerbie by Konishi Gaffney

The new offices and visitor centre at the UK’s largest sawmill acts as a demonstration project, almost entirely erected from James Jones and Sons’ own products, with an approach to minimising the use of steel and maximising timber. This ode to sustainable timber construction showcases the company’s ambition as well as its operations.

Quarry Studios, Aberdeenshire by Moxon Architects

Moxon Architects’ own office is a low-lying building, surrounded by thick forest, tucked into the bowl of a former quarry in the Cairngorms National Park. The building combines a studio and café, with the latter providing valuable amenity to the small community. It is welcoming and accessible, with a layout that is conceptually tied to the landscape.

Forth Valley College, Falkirk.

Chris Stewart, president of the RIAS, said: “It is exciting to see these five remarkable buildings on the shortlist for the 2022 Doolan Award. Our homes, schools and offices form the backdrop to our everyday lives, and this year’s shortlist shows how architects can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

"I am proud of Scotland’s architecture profession.”

High Sunderland, Galashiels.
Lockerbie Sawmill, Lockerbie.
Jedburgh Grammar Campus, Jedburgh.
Quarry Studios, Aberdeenshire.
Jedburgh Grammar Campus, Jedburgh.
Lockerbie Sawmill, Lockerbie.
Quarry Studios, Aberdeenshire.