31 October 2023

Aberdeenshire Architectural and Landscape Design Award 2023 winners announced

The winners have been announced in this year’s Aberdeenshire Architectural and Landscape Design Awards (AALDA).

A biannual scheme run by Aberdeenshire Council, the awards celebrate innovative and sustainable design principles, the creation of new communities, the sensitive adaptation of existing buildings and the imaginative use of materials in both residential and commercial developments.

Now in its 13th year, the awards concluded with an online showcase hosted on the Aberdeenshire Council website where category winners were announced as well as the recipient of the Ian Shepherd Award.

This year, the Ian Shepherd Award – the award given by the judges to the submission they choose as the overall winner of the scheme – went to The Vinery by GD Lodge Architects.

Judges were impressed by the building’s restoration, commenting that it was a good example of the re-use of unusual buildings to provide a new role rather than the creation of a new purpose-built structure.

The said they hoped it would inspire others to adapt and re-use traditional buildings across Aberdeenshire.

The full category winners were as follows:

  • Business and Community Enterprise – Quarry Studios by Moxon Architects
  • Building Communities for the Future – The Old School, Ballater by Ian Rodgers Architects
  • Innovative Single House Design (including extensions) – The Steading, by Allison Joy Architects
  • Conservation and Building Adaptation – The Vinery by GD Lodge
  • Landscape and Biodiversity Enhancement – Quarry Studios by Moxon Architects

There was a broad variety of submissions again this year and the judging panel commented on the extremely high standard of architecture and landscape design found in Aberdeenshire.

From more than 50 submissions, they chose 18 to be taken forward as finalists followed by two rounds of judging across the five categories as well as six student finalists within the student specific category.

This year’s judging panel comprised a variety of industry experts from across Scotland along with the recipient of the AALDA 2020 student award. Each judge has a specialism which correlates to the categories, allowing for a knowledgeable voice to steer the group and raise questions to aid the other judge’s thoughts.   

For 2023, AALDA secured sponsorship for two of the categories - Mabbett Ltd sponsoring the Landscape and Biodiversity Enhancement category and CMD Stone the Conservation and Building Adaptation category.

Introducing the online showcase, Deputy Provost of Aberdeenshire Cllr Ron McKail said: “Now in their 13th year, these awards have been promoting high quality, innovative design and have provided a platform to promote good quality development across the region.

“Every year we continue to see a wider range of innovative, imaginative and inspiring designs which all contribute to Aberdeenshire’s unique architectural landscape. This year we have had a wonderful number and range of submissions and we would like to thank all those who took the time to submit their schemes.”

Further information and supporting videos of the awarded schemes can be found at