The 2019 RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award was won by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners for the Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience in Aberlour.
The Speyside distillery was chosen from a seven-strong shortlist to earn the coveted accolade after judges praised the project as “the undisputed winner, an outstanding addition to our built environment”.
Delivered by Robertson Group, the Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience was designed to deliver a unique brand and home at their historic site in Speyside. The contemporary distillery reveals the production processes and welcomes visitors while remaining sensitive to the beautiful surrounding countryside.
The award was presented at a ceremony at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, a previous Doolan winner, by the cabinet secretary for communities and local government, Ms Aileen Campbell, alongside Mrs Margaret Doolan Hon FRIAS.
The award is generously supported by the late Andrew Doolan’s mother and family and by the Scottish Government.
Aileen Campbell MSP said: “The RIAS Andrew Doolan Award underlines the importance that Scotland places on good design, and this year’s winning project, The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience, is an outstanding addition to our built environment.
“We will continue to support the architecture and design sector so that Scotland’s buildings and places enrich our lives, lessen our environmental impact and contribute to our cultural and national identity.”
This year’s judges, Prof. Sadie Morgan, dRMM (Chair), Henry McKeown, jm architects and Prof. Mona Siddiqui OBE Hon FRIAS, commented: “The attention to detail and the consistency and control of aesthetic decisions in this building is incredibly impressive. The technology of how the architecture is made, is complimented by the theatrical arrangement, and format of the locally crafted copper whisky stills, mash tanks and the labyrinth of pipework that connects them and makes them work.
“This is a harmonious, confident, highly accomplished work at every level. The same level of care and attention to detail and painstaking co-ordination was also evident in the mechanical and electrical design of this vast machine, everything has been thought through and built expertly. For the jury this building was the undisputed winner of this prestigious award.”
The £140 million distillery and visitor centre is also one of six buildings in the running to be named to the UK’s best new building after being placed on the Stirling Prize 2019 shortlist.