Cairngorms office and café development bags 2022 Doolan Award

Moxon Architects has won the most prestigious prize in Scottish architecture for its Quarry Studios office building and café in the Cairngorms National Park.

The practice created the project as its Scottish base, although the community café is also open to locals and tourists vising Balmoral and other local attractions.

Today Quarry Studios been named as the winner of the Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award 2022 by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. Moxon also pockets the accompanying £10,000 cash prize.

Tucked into the bowl of a former quarry, the building makes positive use of a site that had also previously been a rubbish tip and combines private office space alongside a public face that is welcoming, accessible, and deeply rooted within its landscape. The project also makes extensive use of local timber.

Quarry Studios pipped shortlisted projects by Reiach and Hall, Loader Monteith, Stallan-Brand, and Konishi Gaffney to snare the Doolan Award. (See box below)

2_ Moxon Architects Ltd_Quarry Studios_©Tim Soar

Source: Tim Soar

Jury chair Amin Taha said the wide variety of buildings was hard to compare, but Quarry Studios had demonstrated “exceptionally careful thought” in creating a high quality and tactile building that is also full of detail and delivers broader social outcomes.

“Moxon Architects have designed a building that is highly sustainable – not only in terms of its carbon footprint and support for local biodiversity, but also in how it acts as a catalyst for supporting local businesses and its community,” he said.

RIAS president Chris Stewart said blending solutions through design was at the heart of the architect’s role.

7_ Moxon Architects Ltd_Quarry Studios_©Tim Soar

Source: Tim Soar

“Quarry Studios finds ways to regenerate what was brownfield back into the landscape while creating community resource and a self-developed place of work,” he said.

The Doolan Award was founded by the architect and entrepreneur Andrew Doolan with RIAS in 2002 and has been supported by his family since his death two years later.

Last year’s winner was Hoskins Architects’ extension and upgrade of Aberdeen Art Gallery

Doolan Award 2022 shortlist

:: Forth Valley Campus, Falkirk, Reiach and Hall

:: High Sunderland, Galashiels, Loader Monteith Architects

:: Jedburgh Grammar Campus, Jedburgh, Stallan-Brand

:: Lockerbie Sawmill, Lockerbie, Konishi Gaffney Architects

:: Quarry Studios, Ballater, Moxon