Laidlaw Music Centre’s award-winning run continues

Thursday 22 June 2023

The state-of-the-art Laidlaw Music Centre at the University of St Andrews has been recognised with two prestigious architectural awards.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the Laidlaw as a winner of a RIBA National Award 2023, given to buildings across the UK in recognition of their significant contributions to architecture.

This follows on from the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) naming the Laidlaw as one of its seven 2023 Scottish Architecture Award winners earlier this month.

The University was also named Client of the Year at the RIAS awards, held in Edinburgh on Thursday 8 June, in recognition of the close relationship between the University and the Laidlaw project architect, Jason Flanagan of Flanagan Lawrence.

The £12.5m building, which officially opened in 2022, was praised for creating the first dedicated music facility at the University in its 600-year history. It was commended for delivering an ‘intimate’ performance venue, flexible rehearsal space, and a high-tech recording facility.

Dr Michael Downes and Jason Flanagan with the RIAS award

Dr Michael Downes, Director of Music at the University, said: “I am thrilled that the excellence of the Laidlaw Music Centre has been recognised in the form of these prestigious awards.

“This is a building whose special qualities are already being enjoyed by thousands of our brilliant student musicians and by those from the local community and beyond who come to enjoy their performances and to take part in music-making themselves.

“The success of the building is testament to the talents and dedication of architect Jason Flanagan and his colleagues, who were extraordinarily sensitive to our needs and aspirations at every stage of the process.”

Jason Flanagan said: “We are delighted that the Laidlaw Music Centre has won these awards. It’s a huge honour for us and recognises how the building complements its historic setting, creates a venue which links the town community and the University and, in the McPherson Recital Hall, provides a glorious acoustic for performers and listeners.”

Of the additional RIAS Client of the Year award, Dr Downes said: “It recognises the way in which an exceptionally close relationship between client and architect, and an insightful articulation of the brief on the part of the client, contributes towards the outcome of a building of outstanding quality.

“The citation from RIAS particularly noted the building’s mission as a space that is enjoyed by both town and gown, and its success in bringing together different parts of the St Andrews community.

“This award is only given to one client each year, so it is a real mark of success that it has been awarded to us.”

The Laidlaw – which boasts the world’s first chamber hall with a moveable floor – last year won the Architectural Award for Public Building in the Scottish Design Awards, and was voted overall winner in St Andrews Preservation Trust’s Pride of Place Awards.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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