The Pier Arts Centre in Scotland, designed by Edinburgh firm Reiach and Hall Architects, has won the Royal Incorporation of Architects’ (RIA) Andrew Doolan Award.

The Andrew Doolan award – worth £25,000 – is the biggest cash prize in British architecture.

The £4.5m building in Stromness, Orkney, holds the Margaret Gardiner Collection and includes a new gallery and library.

The project itself was for a new wing to be added to the old Pier building which sits on the edge of the harbour at Stromness.

RIA says it awarded the design for the “effortless way in which the new gallery has been settled in beside its neighbour as an integral part of the townscape”.

“The darkness of the simple volume given by the patinated zinc cladding perfectly sets off the neighbouring building during the day, as the contemporary building almost disappears into its own shadow,” the jury says.

“While at night the obverse occurs – the modernity of the new wing strikingly asserts itself as the large scale of the illuminated windows undermines their volume.”

The building was open to the public in July this year.

By Penny Jones