Top 100 Buildings in Scotland, Best Scottish Architecture, Design, Architects

Top 100 Scottish Buildings 2015

RIAS Best Architecture List from the Last Century

7 Dec 2015

Top 100 Scottish Buildings – 2015 Poll

The Top 100 Scottish Buildings

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland’s (RIAS) list of the top-100 buildings in Scotland from the last century has been released. The list includes the Scottish Parliament Building and Stirling University.

Bernat Klein Studio, Scottish Borders:
Bernat Klein Studio Scottish Borders
photo © Michael Wolchover

Scotland’s Top 100 Buildings

The public will now have the chance to vote for their favourite building as part of the Festival of Architecture next year. The Festival is the cornerstone of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

High Sunderland:
High Sunderland house Scotland
photo © Michael Wolchover

The Scotstyle list, which features buildings from 1916 right up to the present day, has been compiled by RIAS as a celebration of Scottish architecture. The exhibition Scotstyle will be touring around the country in 2016 to give the public a chance to view and vote for the properties. The venues for the exhibition won’t just be galleries or libraries, it’s going to railway stations and shopping centres, so that people from all walks of life can appreciate these buildings and vote for their favourite.

St Peter’s Seminary building:
St Peter's Seminary building, Scotland
photo © Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections

The list was selected from more than 400 nominations put forward by members of the public, with a group of architects, critics and architectural historians whittling it down to 100 properties. Now the public can once again get involved by voting for their favourite to be named as the best building in Scotland of the last century.

Scottish Legal Life Assurance Offices Glasgow:
Scottish Legal Life Assurance Offices Glasgow
photo © Alan Crumlish

David Dunbar PPRIAS, who chairs the Festival, said: “The great architecture of the last century will hopefully engage people and get them more interested in looking at the buildings around them. People can vote for their favourite from the first showing in the spring then throughout next year, either online or at the exhibitions. At the end of the year, the people’s favourite will be announced. It will be exciting to see which building is eventually revealed as the best of the century.”

BOAC Building, Glasgow:
BOAC Building Glasgow
photo © Alan Crumlish

Top 100 Buildings in Scotland

Listed chronologically:-

Suffolk Road Halls of Residence, Edinburgh, 1916 (Alan K Robertson)
Rosyth Garden City, Rosyth, 1916 (A H Mottram)
Cour House, Kintyre, Argyll, 1920 (Oliver Hill)
Craigtoun Park, Islet, Dutch Village; St Andrews, 1920 (Paul Waterhouse)
Arches at City Chambers, Glasgow, 1923 (Watson, Salmond and Gray)
Zoology Building, Glasgow University, 1923 (John J Burnet)
9 George Square, Glasgow, 1924 (James Miller)
Bandstand and Amphitheatre, Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow, 1924 (James Miller)
Winter Gardens, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, 1924 (Alexander Stephen)
War Memorial and Cowdray Hall, Aberdeen, 1925 (A Marshall Mackenzie and A G R Mackenzie)
Scottish National War Memorial, Edinburgh Castle, 1927 (Sir Robert Lorimer)
Bank of Scotland, 110-120 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, 1927 (James Miller)
North British and Mercantile Building, 200 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, 1929 (Sir John James Burnet with Norman A Dick)
St Conan’s Church, Lochawe, Argyll, 1930 (Walter Douglas Campbell)
India Tyre and Rubber Factory, Greenock Road, Inchinnan, 1930 (Wallis Gilbert)
Scottish Legal Life Assurance Offices, 81-107 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, 1931 (E. G Wylie)
St Anne’s Roman Catholic Church, 21-23 Whitevale Street, Glasgow, 1933 (Jack Coia)
The Lane House, 46a Dick Place, Edinburgh, 1933 (William Kininmonth and Basil Spence)
Tongland Power Station, Kirkcudbright, 1934 (Alexander Gibb and Partners)
Royal Bank of Scotland, 30 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, 1935 (James Miller)
Daily Express Building, 159-195 Albion Street, Glasgow, 1936 (E Owen Williams)
Bon Accord Baths, Aberdeen, 1937 (Alexander Robbie)
St Cuthbert’s Co-operative Association, Edinburgh, 1937 (T Waller Marwick)
St Columba of Iona RC Church, Glasgow, 1937 (Jack Coia)
Luma Light Factory, Glasgow, 1938 (Cornelius Armour)
Rothesay Pavilion, Rothesay, 1938 (James Carrick)
St Andrew’s House, Edinburgh, 1939 (Thomas S Tait)
Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow, 1939 (John McKissack)
Reading Room, University Avenue, Glasgow, 1939 (T Harold Hughes & D S R Waugh)
St Mary’s Church, King Street, Aberdeen, 1939 (A G R MacKenzie)
Timex Factory, Dundee, 1948 (Bennet, Beard and Wilkins)
New Taybank Mill, Dundee, 1949 (Kenneth Masson)
Wills Tobacco Factory, Glasgow, 1949 (Wills Engineering Department)
Hermit’s Castle, Achmelvich, Loch Inver, Sutherland, 1950 (David Scott)
Vale of Leven Hospital, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, 1951 (J L Gleave)
Fishermen’s Houses, Dunbar, 1952 (Basil Spence and Partners)
Extensions, Natural Philosophy Building, University Avenue, Glasgow, 1953 (Basil Spence and Partners)
Sighthill Health Centre, Edinburgh, 1953 (R Gardner-Medwin)
Kilsyth Academy, 1954 (Basil Spence)
National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1955 (Reginald Fairlie; completed by A R Conlon)
Town House, Kirkcaldy, 1956 (David Carr)
St Paul’s Roman Catholic Church, Glenrothes, 1956 (Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein
High Sunderland, Galashiels, 1957 (Peter Womersley)
Avisfield, Edinburgh, 1958 (Morris and Steedman)
Silitto Residence, Edinburgh, 1959 (Morris and Steedman)
Seafar 2 Housing, Cumbernauld, 1963 (Hugh Wilson, Dudley Roberts project leader, Roy Hunter)
Nuffield Transplantation Surgery Unit, Edinburgh, 1963 (Peter Womersley)
Gala Fairydean Stand, Galashiels, 1963 (Peter Womersley)
Glasgow College of Building and Printing, Glasgow, 1964 (Wylie Shanks and Underwood)
St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Kilsyth, 1965 (Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein)
St Peter’s College, Cardross, 1966 (Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein)
Department of Architecture and Building Science, Strathclyde University, 1967 (Frank Fielden and Associates)
Mortonhall Crematorium, Edinburgh, 1967 (Sir Basil Spence, Glover and Ferguson)
Dollan Aqua Centre, East Kilbride, 1968 (Alexander Buchanan Campbell)
Andrew Melville Hall, St Andrews University, 1968 (James Stirling)
BOAC Building, Glasgow, 1970 (Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein)
Royal Commonwealth Pool, Edinburgh, 1970 (John Richards, RMJM)
Bernat Klein Studio, High Sunderland, Galashiels, 1972 (Peter Womersley)
Phase III Housing, Woodside Development Area A, Glasgow, 1974 (Boswell Mitchell & Johnson)
Stirling University, Bridge of Allan, 1974 (John Richards, RMJM)
Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, 1976 (Law and Dunbar-Nasmith)
Scottish Amicable Life Assurance Society Headquarters, Glasgow, 1976 (King, Main and Ellison)
St John Ogilvie Church, Irvine, 1979 (Clunie Rowell with Douglas Niven and Gerry Connolly)
Cummins Engine Factory, Shotts, 1980 (Ahrends, Burton and Koralek)
Pitlochry Festival Theatre, 1981 (Law & Dunbar-Nasmith Partnership)
Dundee Repertory Theatre, 1982 (Nicoll Russell Studios)
The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, 1983 (Barry Gasson, Brit Andresen and John Meunier)
Ingram Square, Glasgow, 1984 (Elder and Cannon Architects)
Caley House, Kilwinning, 1984 (Irvine Development Corporation)
Babbity Bowsters renewal, Glasgow, 1985 (Groves-Raines Architects)
Brunswick Hotel, Glasgow, 1986 (Elder and Cannon Architects)
Grianan Building, Dundee, 1986 (Nicoll Russell Studios)
Princes Square, Glasgow, 1987 (Hugh Martin & Partners)
National Library of Scotland Annexe, Edinburgh, 1987 (Andrew Merrylees Associates)
General Accident Fire And Life Assurance Corporation Headquarters, Perth (James Parr &
Carrick Quay, Glasgow, 1989 (Davis Duncan Partnership)
The Italian Centre, Glasgow, 1991 (Page/Park Architects)
Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 1993 (Richard Murphy Architects)
Challenge House, Glasgow, 1993 (McNeish Design Partnership)
178-180 Ingram Street, Glasgow Page, 1994 (Page/Park Architects)
Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1998 (Benson + Forsyth)
Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, 1999 (Richard Murphy Architects)
Homes for the Future: The Green, Glasgow, 1999 (Elder and Cannon Architects; masterplan by Page/Park Architects)
Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh, 1999 (Malcolm Fraser Architects)
The Lighthouse, Glasgow, 1999 (Page/Park Architects)
Tramway, Glasgow, 2000 (Zoo Architects)
Mount Stuart Visitors Centre, Isle of Bute, 2001 (Munkenbeck + Marshall)
National Museum of Rural Life, East Kilbride, 2001 (Page/Park Architects)
Clavius Building, St Aloysius College, Glasgow, 2003 (Elder and Cannon Architects)
The Scottish Parliament, Canongate, Edinburgh, 2004 (EMBT/RMJM)
Maggie’s Centre, Inverness, 2006 (Page/Park Architects)
Pier Arts Centre, Orkney, 2007 (Reiach and Hall Architects)
John Hope Gateway, Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, 2009 (Cullinan Studio)
Shettleston Housing Association Offices, Glasgow, 2010 (Elder and Cannon Architects)
The Houl, Castle Douglas, 2011 (Simon Winstanley Architects)
The Chapel of St Albert the Great, Edinburgh, 2013 (Simpson and Brown Architects)
2013 House No. 7, Tiree, 2013 (Denizen Works)
The Turf House, Isle of Skye, 2013 (Rural Design)
Maggie’s Lanarkshire, Airdrie, 2015 (Reiach and Hall)
Laurieston Transformational Area, Glasgow, 2015 (Elder and Cannon Architects, Page/Park Architects)

Shettleston Housing Association Offices:
Shettleston Housing Association Offices
photo © Andrew Lee

Scotland’s Top 100 Buildings

For more information on the voting process and to view the full list of buildings, visit

John Hope Gateway building, Edinburgh:
John Hope Gateway building, Edinburgh
photo © Paul Raftery

Maggie’s Highland Cancer Centre:
Maggie's Highland Cancer Centre
photo © Keith Hunter

The Scottish Parliament building from Arthur’s Seat:
The Scottish Parliament building from Arthur's Seat
photo © Keith Hunter

Maggie’s Lanarkshire:
Maggie's Lanarkshire
photo © David Grandorge

Chapel of St Albert the Great, Edinburgh:
Chapel of St Albert the Great
photo © Chris Humphreys

Neil Baxter, RIAS secretary, said the list showcased everything from hidden gems to grand architectural displays, reports the Herald Scotland.

The Houl, residential building in Scotland:
The Houl, residential building in Scotland
photo © Andrew Lee

House No. 7, north west Scotland:
House No. 7
photo © David Barbour

He said: “What I really like about the list is that it goes from a tiny bothy made by an eccentric architect in the 1950s and then abandoned, right up to your big humdingers like the Scottish Parliament and corporate buildings like banks and offices, or power stations and hospitals. This is not all about posh houses for rich people.”

Clavius Building, Glasgow:
2003 - Clavius Building Glasgow
photo © Keith Hunter

Laurieston Transformational Area:
Laurieston Transformational Area
photo © Andrew Lee

Mr Baxter said the Maggie’s Centre, built in 2006 by Page/Park Architects, offered patients a “peaceful place” to rest, with a sculptural exterior and welcoming “snail-like” circular layout inside.

The Turf House, Skye, north west Scotland:
The Turf House, Skye, Scotland
photo © Nigel Rigden


2 Dec 2015

RIAS Festival of Architecture 2016 Events

Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

  • Scotstyle, across Scotland, throughout 2016

Celebrating 100 years of the best of Scottish Architecture, Scotstyle features ten buildings from each decade of the 100 years from 1916-2015.  The exhibition of photographs of the top 100 buildings will tour Scotland throughout 2016. The selection of the 100 buildings will be from public nomination, informed by an expert panel. The list will be announced on the 7 December 2015.

The Festival will also feature a wide variety of events and exhibitions across Scotland that will engage everyone, from families to students, design and architecture lovers, schools, and arts and heritage enthusiasts.

For more information on the Festival of Architecture go to

Location: Scotland

RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award Winners

West Burn Lane, St Andrews
Design: Sutherland Hussey Harris
West Burn Lane, St Andrews
photo © Keith Hunter
West Burn Lane

Maggie’s Gartnavel, Glasgow
Design: OMA
Maggie’s Gartnavel

National Museum of Scotland Renewal, Edinburgh
Design: Gareth Hoskins Architects>

National Museum of Scotland

Small Animal Hospital, Glasgow
Design: Archial Architects
Small Animal Hospital Glasgow

Pier Arts Centre, Orkney
Design: Reiach & Hall Architects
Pier Arts Centre

An Turas
An Turas, Tiree
Design: Sutherland Hussey Architects with Jake Harvey, Glen Onwin, Donald Urquhart and Sandra Kennedy

Scottish Architecture

Best Building in Scotland Award

Scottish Architecture

RIAS Award for Architecture

RIAS Awards

Best Building in Scotland

Historic Scottish Houses

RIAS Lifetime Achievement Award

Comments / photos for the RIAS Festival of Architecture 2016 Launch + Events page welcome