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European Marine Science Park, Oban short listed for prestigious design award

29 April 2013

The first phase of the European Marine Science Park in Argyll has been short listed for a prestigious architectural design award.

Malin House, part of the new multi-million pound Science Park development by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) at Dunstaffnage, near Oban, has been shortlisted for the 2013 Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) awards.

The European Marine Science Park is one of HIE's current major infrastructure investments incorporating marine science, research and development, education and commercial activity,

Built by Robertson Northern, the infrastructure, support services and construction group, the state of the art building provides around 18,000 square feet of flexible laboratory and office space, which will allow for the growth of existing and new businesses wishing to tap into the region’s world leading reputation in marine science research and development.

Designed for HIE by ADF Architects, who also prepared a masterplan for the European Marine Science Park, Malin House is the first of three buildings planned for development at the Park over the next ten years.

Euan Geddes of ADF Architects commented: “This project has been both challenging and rewarding for the design team.  The sensitive nature of the site, which is located on a peninsula between two bays, is such that the building is very prominent within the landscape.  With this in mind, we used a palette of natural materials which will weather down over time, allowing the building to further integrate into the site.  The overall design of the building is a deliberate attempt to create a dialogue between the new and existing buildings with the intention of creating a ‘campus’ feel for the overall development.”

Morag Goodfellow, Senior Development Manager at HIE, said: “We are delighted to be on the shortlist of projects for the RIAS Awards.  We’ve worked hard with Robertson Construction and ADF Architects to create a building which befits the surrounding environment, links well with the adjacent Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), and most importantly provides office and laboratory space for businesses working in Marine Science to grow and thrive.  Improving the links between the new building and SAMS was important to promote physical interaction between business, research and academia, all located in a wonderful setting.”

The judging panel for the 2013 RIAS awards includes RIAS President Elect Iain Connelly FRIAS, Dr Joyce Deans CBE PPRIAS, Lori McElroy MBE, Kathy Li of the Mackintosh School of Architecture and Roger Stephenson OBE, representing the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The Dunstaffnage site is already an internationally recognised centre of excellence for marine science, with the Scottish Marine Institute being home to the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS) - an academic partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands and located in an award winning building designed by Davis Duncan Architects, and the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology.

SAMS provides businesses with access to the expertise of over 150 scientists in all fields of marine science, from marine environment to the development of marine-derived biofuels. It also contains first class laboratory facilities such as electron microscopes and research vessels, national facilities including the largest collection of algae and protozoa in Europe and the National Scientific Diving Centre.

In August 2010, the HIE Board approved an investment of £7.5m to create this first phase of the Park. HIE contributed £4.5m of its own grant-in-aid budget from the Scottish Government, and attracted the remaining £3m towards this first phase from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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