The hunt has begun for the best new buildings in Shetland, with the launch of the IAA Highlands and Islands Design Awards.
Past winners of the awards include an extension to a house at Muckle Bousta at Sandness by Richard Gibson Architects in the category “Best New Life for Old Buildings” and Grunnabreck by Scalloway-based architects Redman and Sutherland.
Held every two years, the awards aim to raise awareness of the importance of good design and architecture. Launched in 2008, they have since attracted more than 200 entries across the region, despite the recession and the toughest times in living memory for the construction industry.
Organised by Inverness Architectural Association – the chapter of the Royal Incorporation of Architects that covers the Highlands and Islands – the awards feature a range of categories and include prizes for best new building, best restoration and best use of timber.
People can nominate their favourite new building in the Open Award which must have been completed between January 2010 and January 2012.
But the awards are not just about buildings and the local area judges want to hear from architects or clients about new structures of all sizes, restored buildings, external spaces and innovation within the industry.
Newly elected IAA president Andy Bruce said: “Since their inception in 2008, the IAA Awards have shown that the quality and diversity of new buildings, alterations and extensions to existing buildings and ‘placemaking’, designed by Highlands and Islands architects, is second to none.
“The regional and open awards generate lots of interest right across the area and they’re an opportunity for architects, our clients, construction industry colleagues and the public to get involved in considering what an important role good architecture and design plays in all our lives.”
There are six regions covering a vast area from Shetland to Lochaber and from the Western Isles to Moray. Shortlisted entries for the regional awards are showcased at local exhibitions throughout the summer and the regional winners then go forward to the main Highlands and Islands awards held in November. Shetland entries compete in a regional competition which also includes Orkney.
The closing date for entries is Friday 20th April. More details about how to enter are available at www.highlandarchitects.org/2012-awards.