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Cowgate hotel complex starts on site

October 8 2012

Cowgate hotel complex starts on site
LaSalle Investment management have announced that construction has begun on a new hotel complex in Edinburgh’s Cowgate after they purchased the development from Jansons Property.

Designed by ICA Architects the scheme is the latest in a number of proposals for the site, dubbed SoCo, which have been beset by delays brought about by the recession.

The 259 bed Ibis hotel will also incorporate a new shop fronting the South Bridge, as well as a restaurant and nightclub on the sensitive world heritage site - which was gutted by fire in December 2002.

John Yeend, director of LaSalle added: “We have followed the development of the SoCo site for some time and I would commend Jansons for gaining widespread support for a high quality addition to Edinburgh’s World Heritage site. We believe that the development will quickly become a positive and valued addition to Edinburgh’s city centre and we look forward to making further investments, where the schemes can meet our standards and expectations.”

Cyril Sweett are serving as project managers on the scheme with Wakemans acting as quantity surveyor) and Turleys as planning consultant.

The £30m scheme is scheduled to open its doors in December 2013.
A basement nightclub will be built below South Bridge
A basement nightclub will be built below South Bridge
The key site has lain derelict for over a decade
The key site has lain derelict for over a decade


#1 Posted by shabbadoo on 8 Oct 2012 at 13:31 PM
Is it just me or have major design elements of this been ripped straight from the Allan Murray's scheme? Not a successfully either.
#2 Posted by Dial-a-lama on 8 Oct 2012 at 23:35 PM
shabbadoo - i think you're right. it looks like a few bits and bobs have been lifted from the Allan Murray scheme. It doesn't look up the standard that you'd hope for in such a prominent Edinburgh site. Feels like CEC were feeling the pinch after the site being empty for over a decade......
Bill Simpson
#3 Posted by Bill Simpson on 9 Oct 2012 at 08:38 AM
Shabbadoo, is that the same "major design elements" that seem to permeate every large Edinburgh scheme designed by the mafioso Architects? I.e. sandstone panels and randomly placed fenestration? If so, then I suppose you could be more critical of a lot of recent builds and generally just the CEC planning department which seems to bend over to the Unesco people.

I think this is quite a good response to the site. The South Bridge facade is elegant in form and quiet in it's subtly Georgian styled finish, while this contrasts with the Cowgate street frontage which seems unrestricted in plan, elevation and section. I certainly think that once this is complete it will be a great addition to the city centre.

I also think the renders are pretty nifty, especially the basement one which for a change has people inhabiting the space, rather than the usual greyed out silhouettes or animals.
#4 Posted by Sven on 10 Oct 2012 at 10:22 AM
I really like this. I thought the redevelopment was going to be another architectural disaster but this actually is sympathetic to the site.
lola the snora
#5 Posted by lola the snora on 10 Oct 2012 at 15:32 PM
Bill Simpson - the courtyard as designed by allan murray in 2008 (looks like 4 years of design development by ICA have been well spent):

and the main street frontage from that time:

oh and just to have the complete set - the view down the hill circa 2008 (the only part of the scheme that looks different - and sadly it looks to have been made less unique and more like the ubiquitous Edinburgh sandstone:

So, in conclusion Bill Simpson (if that is your real name - just kidding!) - i think you own shabadoo a bit of an apology.
#6 Posted by David on 10 Oct 2012 at 16:58 PM
So not only have ICA been twiddling their thumbs lifting major design elements from AM, the bits they have bothered to change are a real disappointment. The main street frontage of the AM scheme posted by lola the snora looks wonderful. Shame.
Bill Simpson
#7 Posted by Bill Simpson on 10 Oct 2012 at 17:22 PM
Thank you for those links "Lola the snora" (which I assume is not your real name? - not kidding). You have just proved my point of the differences between the schemes, and the preference of a certain type of architecture by the CEC.

Could you explain how I own anyone an apology?

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