The Mareel building in Lerwick has been shortlisted in the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) awards.
Controversy has surrounded the £13.5 million project and legal wrangling over its construction and delayed opening are ongoing.
Some locals have dubbed Mareel “The Shed” but RIAS judges said of Mareel: “Set on an historic waterfront site, this is an important cultural facility. This building embraces theatre, cinema and performance, reflecting and encouraging creativity.”
The building is one of 25 to make the shortlist. According to the RIAS the contract value was not for publication. A panel including RIAS president elect Iain Connelly will visit Mareel and the other shortlisted buildings before deciding which deserve an award.
RIAS president Sholto Humphries said: “We had 75 submissions from throughout Scotland and ranging in scale from a few thousand pounds to over £30m. This number of entries is a tremendous vote of confidence and confirms that this new award, in only its second year, is now the single most important recognition of architectural achievement in Scotland.
“The judges will visit all of the shortlisted schemes to determine which are worthy of an award.”
He added that the projects which best address the key role of architecture to improve people’s lives would be rewarded.
Projects up against Mareel include the University of Aberdeen’s new £30 million library, a £300,00 barn conversion in Aberdeenshire and a temporary art installation: The Ghost of Water Row.
Mareel was completed more than 18 months late, sparking a bitter legal dispute between Shetland Arts and contractors DITT. In December a £600,000 “bridging facility” was agreed to keep Mareel afloat.
Award winners will be announced at the RIAS dinner on 12th June.