Design Awards for the Outer Hebrides

The Comhairle recently recognised outstanding achievements in new building design and conservation at its second ever Design Awards event held last week at the Woodlands Centre on the Castle Grounds.

The evening was hosted by Cllr. Kenny Murray, the Chair of the Comhairle’s Environment and Protective Services Committee who also presented the winners and runners up with their awards. Cllr. Murray commented that “the quality of the entries received was very high and the judges had a tough time in choosing those to recognise”.

Mr Jim MacKinnon, former Scottish Government Chief Planner and also a member of the judging panel for the Awards, passed positive comment on the Comhairle’s journey towards achieving better buildings for the people of the Outer Hebrides and the importance of design in creating better places. He remarked that the design awards were “an excellent opportunity to highlight the range of design quality being achieved in the Hebrides. It is good to be able to recognise this progress, which the islands can continue to build on.”

Mr Ed Taylor, an architect with the Princes Trust and also a member of the judging panel for the Awards gave a very interesting and informative presentation, which highlighted design issues faced by rural planning authorities throughout Scotland. The presentation gave the assembled audience an insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the Outer Hebrides when it comes to preserving and enhancing its unique built environment.

Top awards went to buildings in Lewis, Harris and North Uist. The winners were: Old Telford Church, Rushgarry, Berneray, Isle of North Uist, Gibson Gardens, Stornoway, BASF Pharma (Callanish) Ltd., Breasclete and Gearrannan Blackhouse Village Hostel, Carloway, Isle of Lewis.

The winner in the Housing category was Eagle Bay Cottages in Ceos.

The judging panel also awarded commendations in three of the four categories as follows: Lewis Longhouse, 40c Coll, Isle of Lewis, BASF Pharma (Callanish) Ltd, Breasclete, Isle of Lewis and Gearrannan Blackhouse Village Hostel, Carloway, Isle of Lewis

In closing the prestigious event Cllr. Murray thanked all those who had submitted entries to the awards and congratulated those who received recognition on the night.

The awards ceremony highlights the fact that the Comhairle is committed to recognising good design in new developments and that the planning of new houses (in particular) needs careful consideration for the future. Pictured below are the judging panel with the winners and those who received commendations in the four categories.