Scotland awards best building accolade to architect firm NORD

December 13 / 126

Professor Alan Pert
Professor Alan Pert

By Niamh Cremins and Rebecca Scott

Scotland’s most prestigious design prize has been awarded to the Director of the Melbourne School of Design, Professor Alan Pert’s architectural practice, NORD (Northern Office of Research and Design).

Professor Pert, with his NORD colleagues, were presented The Royal Incorporation of Architects (RAIS) 2013 Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award at the Scottish Parliament in November.

NORD’s winning project involved the conversion of a rundown Edwardian workshop, WASPS South Block in Glasgow, which was turned into artists’ studios with a gallery and coffee shop.

South Block is a 50,000 square foot, four-storey studio complex in the heart of Glasgow’s Merchant City. There are 96 studios in total for visual and applied artists, cultural social enterprises and creative businesses.

The RIAS Doolan Award for Architecture’s objective is to find and celebrate the best buildings in Scotland.

The architects of the winning building receive £25,000, making it both the largest architectural prize in the UK and one of the most significant architecture awards in the world.

The NORD team received the award for “adapting a behemoth Victorian city block into new studios, gallery space and visitor facilities is crisply and ingeniously achieved. An intelligent and appropriate facility within a very creative city.”

Professor Pert said was a great new example of community architecture in Glasgow and we are extremely proud of this award.

One of the judges said, "This building delivers to its users, to the local economy, and to the creative industries in spades.

"The architects, with the most modest of budgets, have taken an unloved Edwardian city block and transformed it into a superbly attractive and welcoming new focus for invention, innovation and creativity, buzzing with energy. This is an extraordinary architectural achievement."

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