See Scotland in a new light on the longest day of the year

Midsummer celebrations see the launch of Best of the Best exhibition; highlighting Scotland’s best buildings, places and communities.

Architecture and Design Scotland, together with partner organisations, will to launch a new touring exhibition called Best of the Best showcasing Scotland’s award-winning architecture, places and communities at a special Midsummer Gathering on 21 June 2016.

The Best of the Best exhibition features 132 projects from the past five years selected by eight national organisations. 

The launch takes place at the half-way point of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and the Festival of Architecture which has offered a huge variety of ways for the public to engage with design and architecture throughout Scotland in 2016. 

Karen Anderson, Chair of Architecture and Design Scotland, said “On the 21st June, an ancient date for celebration, we are celebrating over 130 award winning projects that have made living and working in Scotland better.  This has never happened before and it is really inspiring to see in one exhibition so many fantastic projects, buildings and initiatives by Scotland’s most dedicated and talented people.  The exhibition has been designed to tour the country as part of the year of Innovation Architecture and Design.  It’s a fascinating record of the ‘Best’ of the last five years and we are sure it will galvanise others to work for more award winning projects in the future.”

The exhibition will allow the public to see all major architecture and place awards gathered in one place and to explore and comment on what makes good places and buildings. Following the launch party the exhibition will move to its first venue: The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU for a run 15 July before heading on a national tour throughout 2016. 

The official launch party will also see the announcement of this year’s SURF awards and the 2016 shortlist for the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning.

Emma Scott, Information and Communications Officer for Scotland’s Regeneration Forum (SURF), said “SURF are delighted to be launching the 2016 SURF Awards as part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations. SURF values and encourages the importance of innovative approaches to architecture, place-making and urban design and the role it plays in the wider regeneration landscape. We are also pleased to again have support from A&DS, with Scotland’s Towns Partnership, for our Most Improved Town Category which aims to raise the profile of our towns whilst supporting the Scottish Government’s ongoing commitment to secure a positive future for Scotland’s towns.” 

Andy Leitch from Forestry commission Scotland said “We are delighted to support this fantastic exhibition of the best of architecture in Scotland and we look forward to hosting the tour at some of our visitor centres up and down the country.  Many of these wonderful case studies showcase how timber can help deliver innovative, beautiful structures whilst helping to mitigate climate change by locking away significant volumes of carbon.”

The Best of the Best exhibition has been curated by Architecture and Design Scotland and features the awards – selected from the past five years – of several national organisations. The exhibition partners are: The Scottish Civic Trust, The Scottish Ecological Design Association, The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Architecture Awards, The Saltire Society, the SURF awards, The Landscape Institute Scotland place making competition and the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning, representing a mix of disciplines and student work. 

The Best of the Best exhibition is part of Architecture and Design Scotland’s Say Hello to Architecture programme – its contribution to the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and the Festival of Architecture.

The exhibition – sponsored by the Forestry Commission Scotland and designed by Glasgow-based agency Dress for the Weather – has been designed to pack down to fit into an average car – and supported by the Enterprise Car Club it will tour to venues across Scotland.

The Best of the Best exhibition will start its run at The Lighthouse, Glasgow between 22 June – 15 July and full details of the tour will be announced on


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