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Award Season - RIAS Doolan Award for Architecture

Last Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards mark the start of the raft of annual awards being doled out to the film, television and music industries in the coming months. It provides a reminder of the mass of construction industry awards taking place at the end of 2015. The RIBA Stirling Prize was awarded to Allford Hall Monaghan Morris for its Burntwood School in Wandsworth, as featured in a previous post.

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) have a similar celebration, the RIAS Doolan Award for Architecture. Whilst receiving somewhat less publicity it often features a more diverse and interesting range of short listed projects.

The RIAS Doolan Award for Architecture was established in 2002. Its objective to find and celebrate the best buildings in Scotland. The architects of the winning building receive £25,000, making it both the largest architectural prize in the UK and one of the most significant architecture awards in the world.

The award was renamed the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award in 2004 in memory of its founder and patron, the inspired architect /developer Andy Doolan, who died in April of that year.



The RIAS Doolan Award has been presented to a number of Scotland’s most prestigious architects including twice winners Elder & Cannon Architects and Reiach and Hall Architects.

The 2015 accolade was presented to Sutherland Hussey Harris (SHH) for their West Burn Lane residential project in St. Andrews following up their previous win in 2003 for An Turas in Tiree. West Burn Lane is a delightful £3.5 million, 14-unit speculative development of houses and high-end apartments for Eastacre Investments a local St. Andrews property developer specialising in high quality luxury developments in the heart of St. Andrews.

The scheme occupies a narrow rigg (plot) of land stretching 114m down (almost) to the banks of the Kinness Burn – a tenure form rooted in Scotland’s medieval past. The six town houses, four maisonettes and four apartments are organised around a series of private and public courtyards, typifying the city’s vernacular grain.

The homes twist at right angles to each other as they snake down the rigg, creating narrow alley runs across the site offering views through to the private courtyards.

The facades employ Danish brick and lime mortar on the first and second floors with ashlar faced Peak Moor sandstone at street level lending the project its rusticated base.

Contribution by Angus Eitel of FiftyPointEight Architecture & Interior Design