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Saltire Awards Scotland

Scottish Housing Design Prize 2009

28 Oct 2009

Saltire Society Housing Design Awards Shortlist 2009

Foster and Partners on Saltire Awards shortlist with New Edinburgh Project

Scotland’s oldest and most prestigious housing awards scheme – the Saltire Society Housing awards – has officially announced its 2009 shortlist; with this year’s competition pitting projects from throughout Scotland against Norman Foster and Partners’ high-profile, multi-million pound ‘Quartermile’ development on the site of Edinburgh’s old Royal Infirmary.

The presence of a name like Foster and Partners on the saltire shortlist is clear evidence of the kind of practice now attracted to large scale housing development in Scotland; but housing awards panel convener Simon Winstanley was quick to point out that the bulk of the shortlist came from an encouraging and diverse cross section of practices across Scotland:
“We were very pleased to see such a varied submission from practices of all sizes and stature; from the Highlands to the Borders.

We believe that the imaginative and exciting approach many Scottish practices are obviously taking to housing design and development in the current environmental and financial climate is unequivocally displayed by these (short-listed) projects. It is certainly very encouraging to see small and sometimes remote Scottish practices having their work judged against schemes produced by bigger names from the central belt and beyond”.

The shortlist includes another strong showing from Skye practice Rural Design – who were also recognised in last year’s competition – with two short-listed projects. Richard Murphy’s much lauded Moore Street housing scheme in Glasgow’s Gallowgate is also set to go head to head with Foster and Partner’s recent work in the capital. There is an obvious emphasis on sustainability throughout this year’s entry, with a full suite of private and commercially developed housing and innovative master-planning represented.

The Saltire Housing Awards have been in existence for over 70 years, and are part of a raft of awards presented by the Saltire Society. This year saw the housing awards successfully realise a 22% increase in submissions for the 2009 competition, bucking the trend which has troubled many similar awards schemes across the country. Mr Winstanley went on to suggest that there is an encouraging message to be gleaned from the award’s increased entry for 2009:

“The fact that we have enjoyed an increase in submissions this year is I think evidence that despite the understandable lack of optimism in the construction industry over the last couple of years, Scotland is still home to housing design and development of the very highest standard. The fact that this is clearly being produced by practices of all sizes throughout the country in extremely difficult economic circumstances – and sometimes equally difficult natural environments – suggests that the sector is perhaps capable of weathering the current storm.”

The awards will be presented by Scottish Culture Minister Mike Russell MSP at a ceremony at the Lighthouse, Glasgow, on Tuesday 10th November 2009. The winners and commendees will be published on the Saltire Society’s website:

Saltire Society Housing Design Awards Shortlist 2009

1. Quartermile Phase One, Edinburgh
(Foster and Partners)
2. Residential Care Home, Bingham Dr., Edinburgh
(Ian Springford Architects)
3. New Housing at Lasswade Road, Edinburgh
(Lee Boyd Architects)
4. Moore Street housing, Glasgow
(Richard Murphy Architects)
5. Deepstone, Portling
(Simon Winstanley Architects)
6. Pollock Street, Mossend
(Lanarkshire Housing Assoc)
7. Sycamore House, West Linton
(ICOSIS Architects)
8. Mews Cottage Development, Glasgow
(Michael Gilmour Associates)
9. MacIver House, Evanton
(Neil Sutherland Architects)
10. Mitchell Street, Leith
(Smith Scott Mullan Associates)
11. Affordable Coastal Housing, Aunsgreenhil
(Oliver Chapman Architects).
12. New housing, Straiton, Ayrshire
(ARPL Architects)
13. Bolstyle Road, Kirkmichael
(Thomson Dawes incorporating the Alistair Murdoch Partnership)
14. Extension to house, Newhaven Rd, Edinburgh
(W T Architecture)
15. Black Shed, Dunvegan, Skye
(Rural Design)
16. Bank Street, Plockton
(Rural Design)

16 Apr 2009

Saltire Society Housing Design Awards 2009

Saltire Society Housing Design Awards Launch

‘Scottish Government challenges Architects to respond to housing crisis…’

One of Scotland’s oldest and most prestigious architectural awards has this week set about addressing the current gloom in the housing and construction industry in Scotland by celebrating housing design across the country – and received high-profile endorsement from both the Scottish Culture Minister Mike Russell and new Minister for Housing and Communities Alex Neil in the process.

The Scottish Government-backed Saltire Society Housing Design Awards are the premier recognition of excellence in housing design in Scotland, and are part of a raft of awards presented in various disciplines by the Saltire Society every year. The housing awards have been in existence since 1937 and reward and celebrate the best new housing, neighbourhoods and places in Scotland. Throughout the scheme’s 73 year history architects and developers of all sizes and from all over Scotland have been recognised, with the Saltire Society’s distinctive plaque worn as a badge of honour by any building lucky enough to have been awarded the accolade.

Culture Minister Mike Russell was quick to recognise the importance of the Saltire Housing Awards scheme in promoting innovation and investment in one of Scotland’s key cultural and economic drivers, saying:
“The Scottish Government’s backing for the Saltire Housing Awards recognises the significant role the Awards play in encouraging debate and raising aspirations for good design and the creation of successful, sustainable places. In a period of economic downturn, it is vital that good design remains a top priority in place-making and that we rethink approaches to housing design to take better account of the need to create sustainable and energy-efficient communities.”

New Housing Minister Alex Neil pointed to significance of the awards in recognising and rewarding the architectural talent in Scotland, stressing both the architectural community’s importance in energising the ailing Scottish Construction industry and in creating desirable places to live, and. Mr Neil said:

“There is a real challenge within the construction industry. That is to build modern houses which reflect the new economic times – affordable yet beautiful homes that also reduce our carbon footprint. Key to this is the talent of the country’s architects. They must be engaged by developers, both public and private, and encouraged to produce better design of places and communities as well as individual houses. That is why the Saltire Society Housing Design Awards is so important in recognising design excellence in housing and why the Scottish Government continues to support it.”

In response to the current economic climate the Saltire housing awards panel has taken the bold step of halving its entry fee for this year’s competition, sensitive to the fact that in a time of recession, entering awards may be last on many Scottish architect’s lists of priorities. Awards Panel Convener Simon Winstanley, however, suggested that panel hoped that the opportunity to celebrate the work of the Scotland’s architects would promote a sense of optimism in the profession which has been lacking in recent months:

“The quality of the housing we build is paramount to a successful way forward. Homes built in 2008 and put forward for awards are likely to have been conceived in more optimistic times. However, we hope that entries for the awards will show pointers to the future direction of housing design and quality of placemaking. It is essential that like all other professions feeling the bite of economic hardship, Scottish architects continue to promote themselves and display confidence in their work by supporting schemes like the Saltire awards.”

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