Last night, during a glittering ceremony in Glasgow, the winners of The Herald Property Awards for Scotland 2023 were announced and amongst the many successful companies and individuals whose work impressed the judges were several outstanding examples of the innovation and creativity that is transforming house building in Scotland.
Welcoming guests to the event, Beverley Brown, editor, Scotland’s Homes, said: “This year’s entries included historic regenerations, inspired conversions, regeneration projects, high-spec new build apartments and houses as well as luxurious interiors. These awards get better and harder to judge each year.”
During the course of the summer, the judges visited developments across Scotland in order to whittle 130 entries down to the 54 finalists which went forward for the 20 awards.
Amongst those who were successful were long-established developers building multiple homes and small companies whose niche projects impressed with their individuality and attention to detail. One of the most exciting winners on the night was The Skinny House in Bridge of Allan, a one-off property by Crammond Select Homes that won the Individual New Build or Development Category for a new build that managed to incorporate two external courtyards into a contemporary two-story living space measuring just four and a half metres wide.
At the other end of the scale, the ongoing conversion of the former John Brown Shipyard in Clydebank into the thriving new Queen’s Quay neighbourhood, where Loretto Housing Association, part of the Wheatley Group, has built social housing in partnership with West Dunbartonshire Council and MAST architects, was named ‘Best Regeneration Project – Residential.’
This development, which lies in the shadow of the Titan crane, and which will eventually comprise 1,000 homes, 500,000 sq feet of office space, a health centre and a care home, was described by Beverley Brown as a ‘hero entry’ for its pioneering district heating scheme powered by water straight out of the river Clyde.
Meanwhile, Phase 10 Abbeycraig Road, a development by Lochfield Park Housing Association of 84 new build homes and apartments overlooking the 7 Lochs Wetland Park in Easterhouse, was named ‘Affordable Housing Development of the Year’ sponsored by NHBC.
In Murrayfield, the development of the North & South Block pavilions within the ground of Torwood House, won the Best Apartment award for AMA Homes and Oberlanders Architects, while the transformation of Seafield House in Ayr, once a children’s hospital and former home of one of Scotland’s most influential civil engineers, Sir William Arrol, won in the Best Renovation and Conversion category for Econstruct Group.
Before being redeveloped, this historic building was under threat of demolition following a devastating fire, but now it contains 10 luxury apartments within beautifully landscaped grounds and just a stone’s throw from the beach.
There were two Family Home awards, one for properties under 1999 sq feet and another for larger homes. Together these made up some of the most hotly-contested categories in the whole event and the winners were The Tassie at Pollokshaws Living by Urban Union, a three-storey, four bedroom townhouse with 12009 ft of living space and, in the larger category, sponsored by Vision Spaces, the five-bedroom Mitchell Garden Room at Hamilton Heights by Robertson Homes, a spacious 2139 sq feet detached property, with generous living spaces and a dressing room.
The Best Luxury Home category, sponsored by Ross & Liddell, was won by Heritage Homes for the Balquhidder, a high end detached home within the company’s Torwood Glen development in Larbert, while the Green Housing Award, sponsored by Lowther Homes, part of the Wheatley Group, was won by Southside Housing Association with CCG (Scotland) and John Gilbert Architects, for 107 Niddrie Road.
This pioneering refit of a pre-1919 sandstone tenement, demonstrated that, with the use of insulation and by achieving high levels of air tightness, Glasgow’s traditional housing stock could be made comfortable and fuel efficient.
Also during the event, Cruden Homes & Places for People were named winners of the Development of the Year category, sponsored by s1homes, for Longniddry Village, where the adoption of vernacular streetscapes and architecture have created a seamless blend between old and new in this picturesque East Lothian village.
In the Best Show Home category, sponsored by DAW Signs, the winner was Kirkwood Homes for the Gullane at Inchmarlo, where Thomas Fischer Interiors took inspiration from the surrounding landscape on Royal Deeside to achieve a sense of space and relaxation.
The Interior Design Residential award was won by Braco Designs for their work on The Old Mill, a 200 year old mill in Perthshire that was brought back from dereliction, while the Interior Design Commercial award went to Ica Studio for Virgin Hotels in Edinburgh.
Other winners included HLM Architects whose creation of a new home for the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland in Paisley was named ‘Commercial Project of the Year’, while ‘Best Regeneration Project – Commercial’ went to Ashfield Land Ltd for Topgolf Glasgow, a high-tech driving range in Rutherglen.
But it wasn’t just projects that were recognised last night and amongst the property professionals who also received awards were The Wee House Company, who picked up the accolade of ‘Property Team of the Year’; Northwood North East, who were named ‘Estate Agency of the Year’ and Upload Abode, who went home with the title of ‘Residential Sales Team of the Year.’
The Residential Letting Team of the Year, sponsored by SafeDeposits Scotland, was won by Macleod and MacCallum while Aico | HomeLINK was named Green Supplier of the Year.