The judging process follows a procedure where the three judges, David Dunbar (as then “president elect” of RIAS – now President), Professor Andy MacMillan one of Scotland’s most celebrated living architects and a joint winner of RIAS’s inaugural “Lifetime Achievement Award” and Paul Stephen (as the President at the time) initially met to consider all of the award entries on the basis of the photographic, drawn and other information submitted accompanying the entries. From this initial discussion and appraisal it was decided to visit a number of entries in order to decide on the eventual winner.
The Coach House (Commendation)
The judges felt that this project had been carefully considered and thoughtfully detailed. It created some much needed additional space to a family home and the use of natural light created an impression of space which belies the extensions modest size.
The judges were also aware that projects of this nature are often commissioned without the services of a Chartered Architect and it was felt that this was an excellent example of the added value and excellent design which can be achieved through using a Chartered Architect.
It was felt that this project was worthy of a Commendation and that it embodied many of the merits of the overall winning project albeit on a more modest scale.
Easter Greenrigg Steading (Award Winner)
The judges felt that this project eschewed quality throughout, from the overall design, through attention to detail and the specification of quality finishes.
The design has successfully made the most of the wonderful views to the surrounding countryside and has made the most of an existing rural building to create modern homes encompassing an awareness of three dimensional space within the public spaces.
However, although the entry submission for this project was specifically for one unit, the judges unanimously felt that the development worked cohesively as a whole and that this was a key factor in the overall success of the development.
Falkirk based practice ARKA Architects swept the board at the inaugural design awards for the S.S.A, a chapter of the Royal Institute of Architects in Scotland. The event was held in the Best Western Park Hotel, Falkirk on 22nd October 2009. Sponsored by Ibstock Brick, the award was open to all practices across Scotland and called for entries for any project completed in 2007 & 2008 in the chapter area that covered Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire.
The entries received covered a wide range of projects from which a short list of 6 were drawn up - 3 of which were ARKA projects. Following a day of judging by David Dunbar, president of the RIAS and celebrated architect, Professor Andy MacMillan the winning entries were selected.
It was ARKA’s Easter Greenrigg Steading development for local developer GRS Homes that walked away with the top SSA ‘Best Building’ design award 2009. As well as wining the award, the project now goes forward automatically for the ‘RIAS Andrew Doolan Award for Architecture’ - the largest monetary prize award for Architecture in the UK with a top prize of £25,000.
The commendation award also went to ARKA for their innovative extension to a converted Coach House next to Dollar Park in Falkirk. The project received the ‘judges commendation’ for its highly detailed and innovative response to the project brief.
Easter Greenrigg project Architect Ryan Marshall commented, “ I am delighted that we have won these awards , not just for us as a practice but also for our clients who do put a lot of trust in us. Being afforded the trust and belief in your ability by someone brings a lot of responsibility and when you undertake a project like Easter Greenrigg steading that tries to challenge the norm, that trust is put to the test, especially in the current economic climate!. I am extremely happy to say that this has paid off and that the award is a testament to the belief shown in our ideas by Graham Scott at GRS homes. It would have been easy for him to look for a more straightforward design but he gave us the freedom to express our ideas. This has been rewarded in the sale of all the properties and indeed this award. I hope that other developers/house builders can perhaps start to think a little more out the box in terms of what they build in the local area. I think in the current climate people are questioning how they spend their money and are asking more questions of what they are being offered. That can easily apply to both new houses and extensions.
We have a number of local projects & developments on the drawing boards and I hope that our designs can be seen as a positive contribution to the urban fabric and to the image of the town as a whole."
Paul Stephen, President of the SSA commented: “ This event, the first event in the chapter history, is aimed at drawing attention to our built environment across central Scotland in the Stirling chapter area. It is intended that this will be come an annual event on the awards calendar. A lot of good work is done in the chapter and the S.S.A Design award is a vehicle to raise awareness of this work and celebrate it. In doing so it is hoped that, as with the success seen in the Glasgow and Edinburgh chapter awards, public interest can be stimulated and that the desire for well designed buildings and public spaces can further developed with in the chapter.”