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Cuddymoss by Ann Nisbet Studio named Scotland’s best new building

A remote house by architecture practice Ann Nisbet Studio that is “close to perfection” has been named the winner of the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award for 2023.

Named Cuddymoss, the home in Ayrshire is the first one-off residence to ever win the award since it was founded in 2002 by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

Cuddymoss is the winner of the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award for 2023
Cuddymoss has won the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award for 2023

Cuddymoss was selected as this year’s Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award winner after leaving the 2023 jury “lost for words”.

The home by Ann Nisbet Studio is defined by two low-lying volumes, one of which is clad in timber and another that is formed from the ruin of a stone agricultural building in Ayrshire. There is also a matching gabled outbuilding on site.

Interior of wooden house that has won the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award for 2023
The remote house is by Ann Nisbet Studio

“It’s a project that the jury felt came as close to perfection for its typology as we’ve seen,” said jury chair Tracy Meller, who is a senior partner at British studio RSHP.

“[It’s] an extraordinary exercise in modesty and restraint. It’s a beautifully detailed building,” she continued. “We were slightly lost for words.”

Interior of Cuddymoss by Ann Nisbet Studio
It comprises two gabled volumes

Inside, the renovated ruin contains a double-height living space, kitchen and dining area, with bedrooms at each end, while the adjoining second building houses a separate living room.

Locally sourced Ayrshire brick was used to repair the existing structure, while reclaimed Scottish slate – some of which was sourced on-site – was used for the roofing.

The Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award is named after Scottish architect Andrew Doolan who passed away in 2004. It is awarded annually to buildings of all typologies and has a cash prize of £10,000.

Cuddymoss was chosen as this year’s winner ahead of three other shortlisted projects. These have each been featured in a series of videos produced by Stephenson& and published by Dezeen and RIAS to showcase the shortlist this month.

Window framing Ayreshire landscape
The home incorporates an existing stone ruin

The other three projects were a university building by architecture studio Page\Park, Laidlaw Music Centre by Flanagan Lawrence and a castle-like house by Denizen Works.

Last year’s winner was a small office and cafe that Scottish studio Moxon Architects nestled within the Cairngorms National Park. Other winning projects include ​​The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and the Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre in Glasgow by OMA.

The photography and videography are by Stephenson&.

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