New Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries Wins Double at EAA Architectural Awards

21st April 2017

After securing a nomination in the ‘Building of the Year’ category at Edinburgh Architectural Association’s annual awards, the new Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries has now won the award, as well as receiving the accolade of ‘Large Project of the Year’, before the building has even opened its doors to the public.

The building, which was designed by Richard Murphy Architects, was one of a record 57 buildings competing for the 2017 Edinburgh Architectural Association (EAA) Awards. This is the second year that Mr Murphy’s firm has claimed the ‘Building of the Year’ prize.

Speaking of the double win at the ceremony in Edinburgh on Wednesday, 19 April, EAA 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 2,300 m2 contemporary extension links superbly to the world’s first Carnegie Library and sits proudly within Dunfermline’s Heritage Quarter, which contains many A and B listed historic buildings and visitor attractions. These include Dunfermline Abbey Church, Dunfermline Abbey, Dunfermline Palace, Abbot House and Andrew Carnegie’s Birthplace Museum.

As one of Scotland’s former ancient capitals, Dunfermline has both a remarkable royal history and an impressive industrial heritage. Dunfermline’s past will be brought to life in the new museum with fascinating stories retold through a series of special films, inspiring interviews, engaging computer games and objects from the Fife Council museum collection.

Heather Stuart, CEO for Fife Cultural Trust who are responsible for managing the building, 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. We’re now hurtling towards the finish line for the public opening on the 18th of May so that the public can finally take it in for themselves.”

Ken Gourlay, Fife’s Council’s Head of Assets, Transportation and Environment, said: “Fife Council is absolutely delighted that the new Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries has won the EAA Building of the Year Award 2017.

“This building is designed to meet the changing needs of visitors, communities and local people, and makes a spectacular addition to Dunfermline's Heritage Quarter. The Library & Galleries, which feature a skilful 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.”

Architect Richard Murphy said: “We are delighted to have won the major accolade of the Edinburgh Architectural Association’s ‘Building of the Year.’ 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 ten 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.

“A contemporary building at the heart of a conservation area is not an easy project to bring about but we hope that this building, in the fullness of time, will take its place alongside its historic neighbours as part of a continuing development of the town’s illustrious history.”

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