Moxon Architects' Quarry Studios named Scotland's best building of 2022

A small office and cafe that Moxon Architects has hidden within the Cairngorms National Park has been named winner of RIAS' Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award for 2022.

Named Quarry Studios, the project was hailed by the jury for being "a high quality and tactile building that is full of detail".

Aerial view of Quarry Studios by Moxon Architects
Quarry Studios has won the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award

Awarded by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), the Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award is an annual honour with a prize of £10,000.

Moxon Architects' design was also praised for the way it has transformed a former rubbish tip into a natural landscape to be enjoyed by both nature and the community.

Exterior of the winner of RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award 2022
The building was designed by Moxon Architects

"Moxon Architects have designed a building that is highly sustainable – not only in terms of its carbon footprint and support for local biodiversity, but also in how it acts as a catalyst for supporting local businesses and its community," reflected architect Amin Taha who served as chair of this year's jury.

"Quarry Studios by Moxon Architects finds ways to regenerate what was brownfield back into the landscape while creating community resource and a self-developed place of work," added the RIAS president Christ Stewart.

Quarry Studios is a low-lying building on the site of a former quarry surrounded by woodland, which had more recently been used as a rubbish tip.

It contains Moxon Architects' own office space, which is linked to a cafe for visitors to the Cairngorms National Park by a sheltered walkway.

Cafe at Quarry Studios by Moxon Architects
It contains a cafe as well as Moxon Architects' own studio

The studio's ambition for the project was for it to form part of the landscape, encouraging wildlife to take back over the site, while also taking advantage of its scenic surroundings.

This is achieved in part through the use of natural and simple materials, such as local Douglas fir, chosen to help blend in with the surrounding trees.

Office in former quarry surrounded by woodland
The low-lying building sits on a former quarry surrounded by woodland

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.

Quarry Studios was chosen for this year's award ahead of four other shortlisted projects, which were featured in a series of videos produced by Stephenson& and published by Dezeen with RIAS to document the shortlist ahead of the winner's announcement.

These were Forth Valley College by Reiach and Hall Architects, High Sunderland by Loader Monteith, Jedburgh Grammar Campus by Stallan-Brand Architecture and Lockerbie Sawmill by Konishi Gaffney.

Interior of Quarry Studios that has won the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award for 2022
Simple and natural materials have been used throughout

Alongside chair Taha, who is the founder of Groupwork, this year's jury included Collective Architecture's director Jude Barber and V&A Dundee director Leonie Bell.

Previous winners of the Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award include The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Nucleus by Reiach and Hall Architects and the Maggie's Cancer Care Centre in Glasgow by OMA.

The video is by Jim Stephenson and the photography is by Tim Soar.