Macallan Distillery is also a Stirling contender

RSHP_The Macallan Distillery exterior

Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners has won the 2019 Doolan Prize for its £140m Macallan Distillery and visitor centre on Speyside.

The practice beat a strong shortlist to pick up the award for Scotland’s best building, ranging from Dualchas Architects’ Black House on Skye to Kengo Kuma’s V&A Dundee.

The judges – Sadie Morgan, from Stirling Prize-winners dRMM, Henry McKeown, director of Scottish practice s and Mona Siddiqui, from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Divinity – described it as the “undisputed winner”.

They praised the attention to detail and consistency and control of aesthetic decisions in the building as “incredibly impressive”.

“The technology of how the architecture is made is complemented by the theatrical arrangement and format of the locally crafted copper whisky stills, mash tanks and labyrinth of pipework that connects them and makes them work,” they said.

“This is a harmonious, confident, highly accomplished work at every level. The same level of care and attention to detail and painstaking coordination was also evident in the mechanical and electrical design of this vast machine. Everything has been thought through and built expertly.”

The Doolan is the UK’s richest architecture prize, despite the prize money being halved to £10,000 this year in order to leave more cash to promote the shortlist and winner and raise awareness of the prize.

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

This year’s award was presented tonight at a ceremony at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, a previous Doolan winner.

Cabinet secretary for communities and local government Aileen Campbell 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.”

The other finalists


Dualchas Architects

The Black House, Isle of Skye

Client: Private

Contract value: Confidential


Collective Architecture – Original architect: Malcolm Fraser Architects

Collective on Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Client: City of Edinburgh Council and Collective

Contract value: £4m


Simpson & Brown

Mackintosh at the Willow, Glasgow

Client: Willow Tea Rooms Trust

Contract value: Confidential


Reiach and Hall Architects

Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service – The Jack Copland Centre, Edinburgh

Client: Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service

Contract value: £30m


Elder and Cannon Architects

Tollcross Housing Association Offices, Glasgow

Client: Tollcross Housing Association

Contract value: £2.92m


Kengo Kuma & Associates with Architects and James F Stephen Architects

V&A Dundee

Client: Dundee City Council

Contract value: £80.1m