South Block in Glasgow wins Best Building in Scotland award

image captionJudges praised the "extraordinary" transformation of the South Block building in Glasgow

A renovated office building in Glasgow's Merchant City has won the richest architectural prize in the UK.

The South Block studio complex was named the Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

A gold medal and cheque for £25,000 was presented to Nord Architecture, which designed the revamped interiors.

South Block is run by Wasps Studios - a charity that provides affordable studios to artists and arts groups.

The judges' citation said that for 20 years the "behemoth city block at King Street" had been "occupied on an ad hoc basis by charities and largely under used".

'Extraordinary rigour'

It said the structure, originally designed to house large, open plan factory spaces, had been transformed for contemporary arts use.

"Nord has crafted and choreographed the renovation of this existing building with extraordinary rigour," the judges said.

"With great sensitivity and the slimmest of budgets, the architects have produced a specific environment for creative industries.

"Normally office buildings speak of generic environments. Here, within a tailored set of spaces, interaction and the promise of collaboration is easy to imagine."

South Block was chosen from a shortlist of 12 other projects around Scotland.

The award was presented at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday evening by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

She said: "The winning scheme is a tremendous and inspiring focus for creativity and innovation and, like previous winners of the award, it is a building of which Scotland can be proud."

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