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Premier Inn muscles in on Edinburgh market with fourth planned hotel

November 6 2014

Premier Inn muscles in on Edinburgh market with fourth planned hotel
Hotel chain Premier Inn has extended its bid to saturate the Edinburgh market with plans to open a fourth new destination in the city, replacing an obsolete office block on Torpichen Street.

Supplanting credit crunched plans for a Bennetts designed office block, the latest scheme will see Interserve partner with the chain to build an eight storey 150 room hotel.

Designed by Archial Norr the development will be clad in natural stone panels with a simple rendered finish to the rear, with cills and heads defined by ‘art stone’ banding.

In their design statement the architects noted: “The design of the application site has been carefully considered in order to develop a quality contemporary scheme that will not only meet the needs of the hotelier; and by association visitors to Edinburgh – but will also significantly enhance the architectural appearance of Torphichen Street.

“The area around Haymarket is currently undergoing a lot of redevelopment and improvement– and this application will enable Torphichen Street to be included within this regeneration as it spreads West from the city centre.”

Premier Inn has just moved on site with two hotels at New Waverley and is also progressing a separate 127 bed hotel on York Place.
Rendered columns and beams grid a facade of metal windows, coursed stone rainscreen panels and curtain walling
Rendered columns and beams grid a facade of metal windows, coursed stone rainscreen panels and curtain walling


#1 Posted by james on 6 Nov 2014 at 12:34 PM
Ah! A late entry to Stalin's 'Palace of the Soviets' competition in 1931, only it's a bit late. I take it this is the section to do with getting your tax-disc stamped? If I was a job centre, I'd be envious of this. Why the curious employ of mannerism? Ah right, grandiosity? Still, there's real architects for you. I wonder if they missed the design class that afternoon.... :-) The point is, you know commercial architecture by its fruit. I just don't want to live in that world where a planning system allows this dreck.
D to the R
#2 Posted by D to the R on 6 Nov 2014 at 13:35 PM
James ... This isn't any Archial ... This is Archial Norr
#3 Posted by james on 6 Nov 2014 at 14:16 PM
Sorry, I thought they were architects. It looks like it's been architect designed. Are they financial consultants/lawyers/corporate accountants/business whatevas then? I looked at their website. I couldn't tell what they are, other than corporate. Very corporate.
David Wilson
#4 Posted by David Wilson on 8 Nov 2014 at 10:10 AM
Big consideration to take into account.

The double railway tracks from Waverley to Haymarket run right under this building, so pulling down the existing building was never going to be a financially viable for the likes of Premier Inn. There is a gap site just up from this building, a small plot that the council are having trouble finding developers for exactly that reason (the railway tracks)

With this in mind, I think the current proposal is ok. However, the wider theme of budget hotels being built in Edinburgh is very worrying.

I'd rather see the likes of budget hotels redeveloping these empty office spaces than new builds.

#5 Posted by james on 8 Nov 2014 at 16:40 PM
Hi David, for me, the refurbishment of existing building stock is good long-term sustainable economic practice - it's just that this one is plain dull. Or maybe that's just the architects. Given the mixed residential and commercial context of Torpichen Street why have they made the building twice the apparent scale it is through an applied mannerist 2-storey grid? There are nearby examples of more successful budget-hotel refurbishments, but in this instance, what is proposed would not be out of place in Caucescu's Rumania. Of course, there is underlying commercial/political pressure for the Edinburgh planners to grant these applications and do it reasonably quickly in order to make up the serious shortfall of tourist accommodation within the city, but the application of some shiny new materials and pattern-making just won't do. Everyone gets short-changed.
#6 Posted by David on 10 Nov 2014 at 16:00 PM
Just to be clear, this IS NOT a refurb. As the planning application notes it is a demolition of the existing building, and newbuild hotel.

It is the previous Bennetts scheme for the site that is a refurb.
#7 Posted by james on 10 Nov 2014 at 19:23 PM
Hi David - mea culpa, I got confused - 'so pulling down the existing building was never going to be financially viable for the likes of Premier Inn'. I just presumed then that this proposal is a refurb. For me, that then makes the current new-build proposal all the more unbelievable. In fact, holy-schmoly unbelievable.
#8 Posted by nivison on 22 Nov 2014 at 21:31 PM
It looks just like a clunky front extension, a few metres deep (bringing it flush with the adjoining terrace). If this is a completely new build it is really shoddy. A total taste free zone. Even as a refurb it is pretty disturbing... there was an old office refurb proposal here that was better. Btw the company involved just refurbed a Debenhams on Oxford Street here in London - a real shocker !
#9 Posted by Ardbeg on 13 Jan 2015 at 06:37 AM
i've seen the Debenhams in London, with its fancy moving facade. It was a howling gale when i was there - it looked great, i thought.

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