Edinburgh spirals upwards

Jestico + Whiles aims to make new hotel the centrepiece of Edinburgh St James and reinforce the city’s position as an international destination

by Nick Myall 23 October 2015 Urban design


TH Real Estate has been granted planning permission by the City of Edinburgh Council for the landmark hotel which will sit at the heart of its mixed-use Edinburgh St James scheme. The Central Hotel application marks the last major planning decision to be taken by the City of Edinburgh Council and signifies another key milestone for Edinburgh St James, one of largest regeneration projects currently underway in the UK.

Architecture practice Jestico + Whiles has designed the striking hotel as a bundle of ‘coiled ribbons’, creating a free-flowing design which will complement the development’s elegantly understated masterplan. The building will create a new landmark venue for the city and will include up to 210 beds, restaurants, bars and a rooftop terrace at uppermost levels, providing never-seen-before panoramic views across the city.

In July, the City of Edinburgh Council approved Primary Reserved Matters, Secondary Reserved Matters and a John Lewis detailed application for the 1.7m sq ft (157,935 sq m) Edinburgh St James project which was designed by Edinburgh-based Allan Murray Architects. The redevelopment will see the 1970’s shopping centre currently on site replaced with 850,000 sq ft (78, 967 sq m) of retail space, up to 250 new homes, 30 restaurants and a multi-screen cinema as well as the world class hotel.

Now that the hotel designs have been given the green light, TH Real Estate is looking forward to the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) scheduled for September. Subject to its successful resolution, the team will work towards a January vacant possession of the St James Centre. This will enable demolition works to begin onsite in early 2016, with completion anticipated to be in 2020.

Martin Perry, Director of Development, TH Real Estate, commented: ”We are thrilled that the City of Edinburgh Council has supported our vision for the hotel. The building will be the centrepiece of Edinburgh St James and will reinforce the city’s position as an international destination. The hotel’s iconic design has already generated interest from global hotel operators and today’s decision to approve our proposals takes us one step closer to starting work on-site next year and to delivering the development.”

Heinz Richardson, director at Jestico + Whiles said: “We are delighted that our proposal has been approved and grateful to the City of Edinburgh Council for its visionary support. Our team at Jestico + Whiles is confident that the design of the hotel will fulfil the client’s aspiration and make an exceptional contribution to the city of Edinburgh.”

Nick Myall

News Editor

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