Mareel wins two national architectural awards

by Alastair Hamilton -

Shetland's new arts centre, Mareel, has won two architectural awards and is now being considered for Britain's top architectural accolade, the Stirling Prize.

Mareel was one of only five Scottish projects to receive a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) National Award for architectural excellence. The building has also won an award from the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) and has been short-listed for the Andrew Doolan Prize, the annual award for the best Scottish building. Mareel is the Shetland name for the brilliant phosphorescence that's sometimes seen in the sea.

Managed by Shetland Arts Development Agency, the leading arts agency in Shetland, Mareel is the UK's most northerly music, cinema and creative industries centre.

The building, designed by Gareth Hoskins Architects in association with Lerwick-based PJP Architects, is situated in what was once a derelict area of the Lerwick waterfront, the regeneration of which won Scotland's top planning award in 2009. Mareel incorporates a live performance auditorium, two cinema screens, rehearsal rooms, a recording studio, education and training spaces, a digital media production suite, broadcast facilities and a cafe bar with free wi-fi.

Providing a year round programme of film, live music, education and other performance events, Mareel is a hub and a focus for the creative communities not just in Shetland but beyond, and a catalyst for the creative industry sector in Shetland.

Shetland Arts" Marketing Officer, Lisa Ward, said: “Mareel is an exceptional building and we are proud to see it acknowledged by these national institutes for architectural excellence.”

The winner of the Stirling Prize will be announced on 26 September, in London, and the Andrew Doolan Prize will also be awarded later this year.

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