A team of experts has named Aberdeen Art Gallery as one of Scotland’s top buildings – putting it among the finalists for a top award.
Last month the refurbished building was revealed to have made the longlist for the Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland awards, given by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
Now the gallery – which reopened in 2019 after a decade-long revamp – has been listed among five finalists for the award.
It will go head to head with designs from across the country for the top prize.
Explaining the decision to select it on the shortlist, RIAS highlighted the gallery’s “dramatic” rooftop extension and its “impressive contemporary interventions”, while also praising the building’s “special character and grandeur”.
“It is a terrific building and a great example of how architecture can make a real difference to places and people’s lives,” said the organisation’s president Christina Gaiger.
Art gallery among five nominees
Also shortlisted for the crown are the Bayes Centre in Edinburgh, sportscotland’s National Sports Training Centre in Inverclyde, Ardrishaig’s Egg Shed and the Hill House Box in Edinburgh.
The Bayes Centre, a business and learning facility, is the final stage of a major redevelopment of Edinburgh University.
It is home to “cutting-edge activities” in a “sustainable building that encourages collaborative working”.
The Egg Shed in Ardrishaig brings a historic building at the village’s harbour back into use.
It aims to boost tourism in the area by telling the stories of the community’s history and people.
Meanwhile, the Hill House Box – which surrounds the Hill House, regarded as Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s best residential work – is a huge chain mail structure.
It protects the historic house from the elements while conservation work is ongoing, allowing visitors to take a closer look.
And the National Sports Training Centre is acclaimed for its ribbon-like design, with large windows which are said to fill the building with light and “enhance athletes’ energy levels”.
‘Critical role’ of architecture
“Community, culture and innovation sit at the heart of the 2021 Doolan Award shortlist, with projects spread across Scotland and demonstrating the dynamism and responsiveness of Scottish architecture today,” Ms Gaiger said.
“Taking a step back, the awards act as a mark in time, with buildings likely commissioned several years ago showcasing carbon-conscious approaches. We should of course all stop to celebrate these exceptional buildings but at the same time consider those timeframes and the changes which need to be implemented now to deliver on our future carbon targets.
“Therefore, the celebration of these projects is also a call to action, and a reminder of the critical role that architects and the built environment play in tackling the climate emergency.”
Scotland’s Building of the Year will be chosen by RIAS on November 30.