New cultural hub becomes double award winner

© SuppliedThe building has won two awards
The building has won two awards

Dunfermline’s £12 million cultural hub has won two top architectural awards before it has even opened its doors.

The new Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries has won the title of building of the year in the Edinburgh Architectural Association’s annual awards. It has also picked up the accolade of large project of the year.

Designed by Richard Murphy Architects, it was one of a record 57 buildings competing for the 2017 awards.

This is the second year that Mr Murphy’s firm has claimed the building of the year prize.

Association vice president and head judge Julie Wilson said: “The judges were unanimous when it came to agreeing the building of the year.

“The winner is a beautifully crafted building, which is a rich, mature piece of architecture.”

Mr Murphy’s contemporary extension links to the world’s first Carnegie Library and sits at the heart of Dunfermline’s heritage quarter.

When it opens on May 18 it will be managed by Fife Cultural Trust. Its chief executive Heather Stuart said:  “We are thrilled that Dunfermline Carnegie Libraries & Galleries has won two architectural awards before the door has even opened to the first customer; it’s remarkable recognition for years of hard work by so many people.”

Fife Council’s head of assets Ken Gourlay said the building was designed to meet the changing needs of visitors, communities and local people, and makes a spectacular addition to the heritage quarter.

“The Library & Galleries, which feature a skillful fusion of the existing traditional buildings with this significant new extension, is already raising the cultural profile of Dunfermline.

”Fife has a rich architectural heritage and is the home of a range of remarkable architecture – both historic and contemporary.

“Winning this prestigious award shows that our contemporary architecture is also of national significance.”

Mr Murphy added: “Of course the building is not in Edinburgh, although in the association’s patch, and we are very pleased that it beat several strong contenders from within the city.

“It is a great credit to Fife Council to have held firstly an architectural competition and then to have followed through with the vision over the intervening 10 years to finally realise what we hope will be an innovative building that will be taken to the hearts of the people of the town and beyond.”