North buildings in running to land top prize

Posted on December 9th 2015

by Stephen Nicolson

The Royal Incorporation Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has announced its top 100 buildings from the last century – including two in the Highlands.

The awards are part of the 2016 Festival of Architecture, which will run from March to October, and will provide the public with an opportunity to vote for their favourite building in what is said to be the highlight of Scotland’s year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

RIAS has received £300,000 of funding from the Scottish Government and £100,000 from EventScotland in a move that is hoped will enhance the understanding of the country’s build environment as well as emphasising the impact strong architecture can have on economic, social and cultural factors in Scotland.

The list includes some iconic builds from Scotland’s world-renowned parliament building to Aberdeen’s Bon Accord Baths. Perhaps more modestly, but no less striking, the selection also boasts island builds on Bute, Tiree and Orkney.

Turf House

Staying with the Island theme, it is Skye’s so called ‘Turf House’, which could well attract some attention – and rightly so.

Its extremely unique appearance coupled with the stunning location could see it crowned the winner when the results are revealed later in the year. Sitting amidst traditional croft houses in the north of Skye, it leaps from the landscape, but still manages somehow to blend naturally with its surroundings.

Image 5 - Rural Design - Turf House - Rural Design

It featured in the 12th series of ‘Grand Designs’ on Channel 4 and was showcased in a manner befitting of its unique character as it looks set to remain a favourite of local architects Rural Design.

Maggie’s Cancer Centre in Inverness – sponsors of the Festival of Architecture 2016 – completes the Highlands’ participation on the list of potential winners. Opened in 2005, Edinburgh based Page/Park architects have succeeded in their bid to create a warm environment, whilst producing a stimulating and uplifting place to visit for all parties.

They have achieved this by seeking to ‘blur the perceived boundaries between internal and external spaces, enclosure and openness, as a harmonious and interconnected meeting of landscape and built form.’


Now after more than a decade after it opened its doors, Maggie’s would be a worthy winner of the accolade as it continues to provide outstanding care in the most spectacular surroundings.

The shortlist was compiled through nominations from the public with vital input coming from experts within the field and you can vote for the building that deserves the top prize from early spring.

Centre Head at Maggie’s Highlands, Carole Bridge, spoke of the sponsors’ role.

“It is wonderful that Maggie’s Highlands has been chosen to be part of the ScotStyle list,” she said.

“Great design and architecture are vital to the care Maggie’s offers as evidence shows that an uplifting environment can reduce stress and anxiety.


“Maggie’s Highlands is part of a network of 18 Maggie’s Centres, across the UK, online and abroad, all designed by leading architects to feel more like a home than a hospital, with no reception desk, no signs on the wall, no name badges and with a big kitchen table at their heart.”

Voting opens early 2016.  For more information, visit