Over 37 of Scotland’s most impressive and community beneficial property schemes battled it out for top honours at the RICS Awards 2018, Scotland. TV presenter, Catriona Shearer - best known for presenting BBC Scotland - hosted this year’s sell-out ceremony, held at The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh, which attracted over 200 property professionals.
The highly acclaimed Project of the Year title is presented to the scheme which demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area.
The £1.1bn Caithness-Moray project represents the largest investment in the north of Scotland’s electricity network since the hydro development era of the 1950s and is the largest capital investment project undertaken by the Scottish and Southern Electricity (SSE) group to date. Judges commended SSE for highlighting the importance of a long-term investment commitment to energy production and its transmission from the connection of remote wind farms in Caithness along the sea bed to the north-east corner of Scotland.
This highly technical project required a significant degree of logistical planning, project management, safety procedures and engagement with the local community. This project is a leading exemplar for the need and benefits of investing in Scotland’s infrastructure.
Sponsored by Wise Property Group
Originally opened in 1763, St Cecilia’s Hall is owned and operated by the University of Edinburgh. In 2015, the redevelopment of the Hall involved the conservation and repair of the existing Category A listed building. Thomson Bethune, Page\Park Architects and Interserve Construction Ltd bought together all the musical instrument collections of the University of Edinburgh under one roof; and the full refurbishment and expansion of the existing gallery spaces and Concert Room. The judges praised the project team for cleverly enhancing the space and access whilst sensitively restoring this significant building, resulting in the university being able to offer more performances and increasing the opening times of the museum.
Sponsored by Sika
ScottishPower Ltd selected a highly prominent location in the heart of Glasgow to relocate around 1,700 staff from a series of locations. Whilst the judges felt this was an impressive achievement in itself, the design strategy and procurement route used to deliver the building were equally impressive. Turner & Townsend, Page\Park Architects and Laing O’Rourke delivered the building, marking an important entrance to the city, whilst acknowledging the scales of neighbouring buildings. The judges commended the team for their development of innovative off-site manufacturing processes that minimised material storage and deliveries whilst accelerating construction. The building has a BREEAM Excellent rating providing a healthy working environment which is further enhanced by its flexible internal layout.
Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries is a spectacular addition to Dunfermline's Heritage Quarter, and is seeking to be a catalyst for raising the cultural profile, awareness and visitor attractiveness of Dunfermline to levels befitting Scotland's ancient capital, and the resting place of former kings and queens. Judges felt the recent extension and incorporation of this multi-use facility has given the town its first dedicated gallery space to a standard which can accept national collection pieces. It has reinvigorated the public library area and has a dedicated children’s library and IT suite. Fife Council, Richard Murphy Architects Ltd and hub East Central Scotland Ltd’s commitment to showcasing and bringing to life Dunfermline’s thousand year history and cultural heritage makes this a worthy winner and exudes a feeling of community wellbeing.
Sponsored by Forbo Flooring Systems
Currie & Brown, LDN Architects LLP and CCG (Scotland) Ltd have transformed the Appleton Tower from a somewhat drab 1960’s ‘eye-sore ‘to an attractive, landmark building that has become an integral part of Edinburgh’s skyline. The project has remodelled the exterior, to include vertical PV panels embedded into one wall face and has removed the unsightly roof top plant to create a glazed box used by post-grad students and advisors. This roof top re-engineering has provided breath-taking views over the Edinburgh skyline and provided much needed additional floor space. The ground floor entry point has been completely reimagined using building physics applications, to create a foot flow through new access doors and steps which has also had the benefit of creating some new public realm space.
Sponsored by Den-Master
Marischal Square is transformational for Aberdeen City Centre. Turner & Townsend, Halliday Fraser Munro and Muse Development Ltd have reversed the negative impacts of the former building by replacing and delivering a mixed-use development that has enhanced the setting of two of the city’s most important heritage assets. Judges were bowled over by the vibrant new space and the significance of the new office space is heightened by its Aberdeen context, where such development has in recent decades been lost to the urban fringe. The £107million project will help Aberdeen City Centre to capture the benefits of the economic success of the city region.
Countesswells is a new community to the west of Aberdeen which will encompass 3000 homes and supporting facilities. This project is an example of a large-scale housing development being funded by innovative means utilising a UK Treasury guarantee that has allowed certainty and confidence to invest in a significant amount of up-front infrastructure and environmental works. In addition to this scheme being a successful case of placemaking, judges appreciated how the team behind the project (including Stewart Milne Group and Optimised Environments Ltd) have involved residents, who are taking ownership of completed spaces, and becoming members of the management company responsible for maintaining new public spaces, allowing them to own and control the land’s future use.
The Falls of Shin is a community owned visitor centre which is located beside a salmon leap waterfall. Located in a northern part of the Scottish Highlands, this project – delivered by WSD Inverness, CH Architecture Ltd and William Gray Construction - demonstrates how a remote community can provide sustainable employment for local people, as well as managing a well-loved natural resource. The original facility was destroyed by a fire in May 2013 causing 20 jobs to be lost overnight. The community took over ownership and built a new facility which has been inspired by the form of a leaping salmon. Using income from renewable energy resources, the Trust has demonstrated sound commercial judgement to local economic development emphasised by using local skills and experience in the design, delivery and operation of this excellent visitor attraction.