Hippodrome vies for top prize

THE HISTORIC Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness is vying for a top architectural prize.

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has revealed this week that the country’s first purpose-built cinema is one of eleven buildings in the running for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award.

The prize is jointly funded the Scottish Government and the family of the late Andrew Doolan, who founded the award. The winner will be announced later this month.

It’s the latest honour for the Hope Street building, which was re-opened last year after a £2 million revamp overseen by the Pollock Hammond Partnership in Linlithgow.

Bo’ness Labour Councillor Adrian Mahoney, the convener of leisure, tourism and community at Falkirk Council – which runs the Hippodrome – said: “I’m delighted the Hippodrome has been shortlisted for this prestigious award.  It’s been a fantastic restoration project and a real credit to the architect Gareth Jones at Pollock Hammond, who worked with the Council and the building’s owners, the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, to bring the cinema back to life.

"The real prize, of course, has been to see local people enjoying movies in this fantastic building, nearly 100 years after it was first constructed. The Hippodrome is an amazing asset to the local area. Here’s hoping the judges agree."

Earlier this year, the Hippodrome was commended in the 2010 Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards. Council chiefs are hoping to go one better with the latest competition.

The RIAS said the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award was the “UK’s richest architectural prize”.

President David Dunbar said: “We are delighted that Scotland has once again come up with such a strong list of submissions. The crop of new buildings in Scotland is undoubtedly among the best in Europe and we are confident that this year’s Doolan Award will confirm the consistently excellent work currently being produced to the benefit of Scotland and the Scots.”

The shortlist, which ranges from Dunoon to Raasay, comprises the following buildings (listed alphabetically):

* The Briggait Redevelopment, Glasgow (Nicoll Russell Studios);

* 15 Fiscavaig, Skye (Rural Design);

* The Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness (The Pollock Hammond Partnership);

* House on a Hill, Aberdeenshire (Paterson Architects);

* John Hope Gateway, Edinburgh (Edward Cullinan Architects);

* McManus Galleries, Dundee (Page \ Park Architects);

* Medical & Biological Sciences Building, University of St Andrews (Reiach and Hall Architects);

* Raasay Community Hall (Dualchas Building Design);

* Shettleston Housing Association Offices, Glasgow (Elder and Cannon Architects);

* Tigh Na Cladach (House by the Shore), (Dunoon Gokay Devici Chartered Architect); and

* The West Centre, Glasgow (anderson bell + Christie)

The judging panel for this year, chaired by Professor Andrew MacMillan, also includes RIAS President David Dunbar, international architect Edgar Gonzalez and the renowned lighting architect Jonathan Speirs, who is a Fellow of the RIAS. Edgar Gonzalez said: “This year’s shortlist exemplifies the immensely strong architectural culture of contemporary Scotland. The rigour of all these buildings is allied to a great care for their users, responsiveness to context and a real delight in the potential of architecture to enhance environments – and people’s lives.”

An announcement of the jury’s decision will be made by Scotland’s Minister for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop ,and Andrew Doolan’s mother, Mrs Margaret Doolan, at the Scottish Parliament on November 19.

Find out more about the Hippodrome at www.falkirk.gov.uk/hippodrome

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