Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Dunfermline library named Scotland's best building

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries Image copyright M Lambie
Image caption The new building, an extension to the world's first Carnegie library, has a museum, gallery spaces, café and shop

A new library and gallery in Dunfermline has been named the Best Building in Scotland for 2017.

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries was awarded the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland's (RIAS) Andrew Doolan prize from a shortlist of 12 projects.

Edinburgh-based Richard Murphy Architects, which designed the £12.4m building, received £25,000.

The award is the richest architecture prize in the UK.

It was founded in 2002 by Scottish architect and entrepreneur Andrew Doolan, who died in 2004.

Image copyright M Lambie
Image caption Dunfermline Carnegie Library was first opened in 1883 and closed from 2014-2017 while the new building was constructed at its rear

The prize was presented by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop, alongside the late Mr Doolan's mother Margaret, at a ceremony in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on Tuesday night.

Ms Hyslop said the shortlist illustrated "the continuing excellence of new architecture in Scotland".

She added: "The quality of the winner and of all the shortlisted projects illustrate that we are building a future heritage in Scotland that we can truly be proud of."

The library beat 11 rival projects including City of Glasgow College and five private homes.

Image copyright M Lambie
Image caption The extended building was opened in May after 10 years of planning

The judges for the award were Stewart Henderson, RIAS president, Prof Sue Roaf, retired professor of architectural engineering at Heriot-Watt University, and Susie Stirling from the Scottish government's planning & architecture department.

In their comments on the library, they said: "External materials are sandstone, oak and Corten steel, acknowledging the town's industrial heritage and the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, after whom the building is named.

"The circulation 'architectural promenade' offers key views of significant historic buildings, culminating in a cube window framing views of the abbey."

Previous winners of the prize have included a school science and technology block in Glasgow, a restored backstreet in Edinburgh's Old Town and the National Museum of Scotland.

More on this story