Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries wins double at RIAS Awards
Published: Thursday 15 Jun 2017 by Fife Council
RIAS award for DCL&G
Scot Gov Client of the Year award
Architect Richard Murphy
In an awards ceremony held at Murrayfield, Edinburgh last night, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) declared Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries (DCL&G) one of 12 winners of the 2017 award for best current Scottish architecture. Fife Council were also the recipients of the Scottish Government’s ‘Client of the Year’ award.
The judges said: “Bringing together museum, art galleries, meeting rooms and a café, alongside the world's first Andrew Carnegie Library, the building is arranged around an internal ‘street’. This elegantly and legibly connects all of its facilities."
All 12 buildings will now go forward to be considered for the prestigious RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award, which will be announced and presented this November.
Designed by award-winning architect Richard Murphy and delivered by BAM Construction, DCL&G now joins two B-listed buildings – the existing Carnegie library and a former bank branch – and has a purpose-built modern extension which overlooks the grounds of Dunfermline Abbey.
The facility is home to a museum over two floors, three temporary exhibition galleries, a café, a shop, a new children’s library and the Reading Room – a local history, study and archives space.
Construction work on DCL&G finished late last year and the building opened to the public on Thursday, 18th May 2017. Fife Cultural Trust staff, who manage and operate the facility on behalf of Fife Council, have tracked well in excess of 20,000 visitors in its first month.
Architect Richard Murphy said: “The project at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries has been a visionary idea pursued tenaciously over more than a decade by our client, Fife Council, so we were delighted they won ‘Client of the Year.’
“Their decision to have a competition in turn allowed us to shine at what we are good at; namely grafting contemporary design onto historic buildings and within a special conservation area.
“The building also squeezes a lot into a small volume but never loses touch of its wonderful location with a whole variety of carefully controlled vistas. We have been thrilled since it opened that the people of Dunfermline have taken it to their collective heart. It has no shortage of visitors and we hope this alone will contribute towards the rejuvenation of the centre of the town. I believe the RIAS award recognises all these achievements.”
Heather Stuart, Chief Executive of Fife Cultural Trust, said: “This is the second time our new building has been recognised by a prestigious architectural institution, due in no small part to Richard Murphy’s pioneering vision to sympathetically blend the old with the new. The building’s purpose, of course, is to play a role in Dunfermline’s cultural regeneration and it has been heartening to see the public embrace it over the past four weeks.”
Cllr David Alexander, Co-Leader of Fife Council is delighted to see the DCL&G building pick up another prestigious award. He said: "We've all been very encouraged by the tremendously positive reaction from visitors to our new building. Recognition like this places a very appropriate seal of confirmation on the project though and highlights that it's a building of true architectural standing and of national importance.
“I'd like to congratulate everyone who has played a part in delivering this outstanding project and to thank fellow funders Heritage Lottery Fund and Carnegie Dunfermline Trust."
Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries is not only the town’s newest landmark but also a welcome addition to Scotland’s cultural offering that’s destined to bring new visitors – both young and old – to the Kingdom of Fife. The new cultural hub hopes to attract up to 280,000 visitors each year, and contribute an annual visitor spend of around £500,000 to the local economy.
In the coming weeks, DCL&G will host a PechaKucha presentation (15 June), a sell-out Harry Potter event for kids (22 June) and an ongoing Sunday Seminar series where guest speakers engage the public in discussion about west Fife’s storied past. Award-winning Milnathort catering company Heaven Scent undertook management of the facility’s café, which in itself offers a striking view and a new place for the public to congregate.
The building recently won Edinburgh Architectural Association’s ‘Building of the Year’ and ‘Large Project of the Year’ awards. A more formal opening of the new venue is due to take place later in the year.
You can keep up to date with the latest news by liking the ‘Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries’ Facebook page or following @ONatDCLG on Twitter.
- Stewart Henderson (PRIAS) and Lorraine Landels (RMA), present Kris Grant, Martin Lambie (Richard Murphy Architects), Dallas Mechan (Fife Cultural Trust) and Kevan McLaughlin (Fife Council) with a RIAS Award
- Ian Gilzean presents Dallas Mechan (Fife Cultural Trust), Kevan McLaughlin, Alan Paul and Ken Gourlay (Fife Council) with Scottish Government’s ‘Client of the Year’ award
- Interior and exterior shots of DCL&G
Did you know?
- Construction work on the project began in December 2014. The building was handed over to Fife Council and Fife Cultural Trust in early 2017 and opened its doors to the public on 18th May 2017.
- The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded Fife Council a grant of £2.8 million towards this project in February 2013.
- Fife Council has committed £8.6 million and The Carnegie Dunfermline Trust will also make a contribution of £1m. The new building – which is integrated with the original Dunfermline Carnegie Library – houses a museum over two floors, three temporary exhibition galleries, a café, a new children’s library and a local history, study and archives space.
- The project has already won two awards from Edinburgh Architectural Association including the prestigious ‘Building of the Year’ title.
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Kevan McLaughlin, Technical Adviser
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