Stirling’s St Andrews University design tops architecture list with town’s Dutch Village

SSHC 3113055 craigtoun park 'Dutch village - at Craigtoun Park, St Andrews

SSHC 3113055 craigtoun park 'Dutch village - at Craigtoun Park, St Andrews

0
Have your say

St Andrews boasts two buildings which have been judged to be amongst the leading examples of Scottish architecture from the last 100 years.

The 1920s island or ‘Dutch’ village which sits amidst the landscaped lakes of Craigtoun Park and Andrew Melville Halls, part of the University of St Andrews’ student accommodation have both been put forward amongst the best buildings by experts from the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

Andrew Melville Hall, St Andrews University, shortlisted for Scotland's best building.

Andrew Melville Hall, St Andrews University, shortlisted for Scotland's best building.

The public will be asked in 2016 to select their favourite from the list of 100 compiled by RIAS, from 1916 to the present day.

Commissioned to landscape the former Mount Melville estate, architect Paul Waterhouse designed the Dutch Village in his own classical style, which can also be seen in his designs of the University Union, St Regulus Club and the Younger Hall. However, little is actually known about the original village designs.

“We have found it extremely difficult to find out the true history if it - we have never known the original drawings,” said Kyffin Roberts, chairman of the Friends of Craigtoun group. “Clearly we have always known the Dutch Village is of tremendous interest to the local population and visitors.

“It a desperate shame that it has been left to deteriorate to what it is now. It is our long term plan to save it for future generations.

“It was built in the 1920s when labour was cheap after the war and it is a fantastic piece of engineering, very well built and a credit to the people of the time.

“It must have incredibly labour intensive to build. It’s post-Victorian engineering at its peak.”

Influential architect James Stirling’s design for the postmodern Andrew Melville Hall also features in the top 100.

Named after a 16th century theologian, the building was designed in the new brutalist style making use of prefabricated concrete modules.

“We’re delighted to see two St Andrews landmarks making the top 100 short-list,” said a University of St Andrews spokesman. “Andrew Melville Hall has long been renowned as a recognisable work of James Stirling, whilst the Dutch Village now stands as testament to the community’s determination to save Craigtoun Park.

”This news, coming one week after West Burn Lane won Best Building in Scotland 2015, shows the quality of St Andrews’ architecture – new and old. We’re proud to be guardians of one of Scotland’s favourite examples of design excellence.”

Fife boasts four examples of architecture in the final 100 including the Town House in Kirkcaldy, a Scandinavian-influenced building. St Paul’s RC Church in Glenrothes has also been put forward for the accolade.

The public vote forms part of the Festival of Architecture, which takes place from March to October, and a new exhibition, Scotstyle, will tour the country and tell the story of the 100 buildings.