Held every two years, the Aberdeenshire Design Awards celebrate the most outstanding achievements in design innovation. The awards are split into seven categories, including: Housing, Business, Conservation, Rural Landscape Development, Sustainability, Craftsmanship and Public Art.
The Aberdeenshire Design Awards aim to encourage the very best in environmental design and to improve the built environment in Aberdeenshire. By stimulating a deeper interest in the traditional and recent architecture, it is hoped that the awards will raise the profile and benefit of good architectural design within the local communities.
The prestigious event takes place at the National Trust for Scotland’s Haddo House and attracts the best architects and developers in the region. With the original 106 designs now whittled down to just 28, the awards ceremony will be held on 6th September 2012.
Councillor Peter Argyle is chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee and the Aberdeenshire Design Awards judging panel. Speaking of the importance of the awards, he commented:
“Essentially what we’re looking for is good design, which means different things to different people. If I could choose one word, it would be respect – a respect of the built or natural environment, combined with a sense of place and a balanced design. This doesn’t necessarily mean the slavish copying of previous ages, as we value a modern design just as much as a sympathetically traditional design.
“We also look at celebrating innovation in sustainability and craftsmanship. One of the most memorable projects for me is the restoration of a salmon bothy in Portsoy, which received both the highest award for Conservation (Distinction) and the new Ian Shepherd Award for the best project over the seven categories. This was an important community project, and the craftsmanship and design was simply outstanding.
“Another striking project was the conversion of a small church into a family home. The church had been empty for many years, and the joiner that bought it did a beautiful job of restoring it. However, what impressed me the most was his innate enthusiasm for his work – he was so passionate about each element of the design.
“The purpose of the Aberdeenshire Design Awards is to encourage good design across the construction industry. We have recently introduced a new local development plan for Aberdeenshire that is very generous in both the allocation of land and the opportunity for development. As a result, we wish to see much better standards of design for the industry, particularly within the volume house building sector. The awards are therefore part of a wider agenda that aims to encourage good design in everything that is built in Aberdeenshire.”