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Jestico + Whiles' peeled orange wins St James Quarter hotel competition

March 3 2015

Jestico + Whiles' peeled orange wins St James Quarter hotel competition
TH Real Estate, developer behind redevelopment of Edinburgh’s St James Centre, has named Jestico + Whiles as the winners of a design competition to create a landmark hotel at the heart of the £850m development.

Seeing off four other international practices to land the prize with their ‘coiled ribbons’ concept the practices peeled orange design will play host to a rooftop bar, lounge and restaurant.

This will see the design team work alongside masterplan architects Allan Murray, technical architects BDP and Purcell who will oversee heritage aspects. OPEN meanwhile will serve as landscape architect.

Heinz Richardson, director, Jestico + Whiles, said: “We are thrilled to have been selected by TH Real Estate to be part of one of the biggest and most exciting regeneration projects currently under way in the UK.

“The contemporary design will be sympathetic to the surrounding World Heritage site and its history, providing a first class destination for Edinburgh at the heart of the city’s new retail quarter.”

Martin Perry, director of development at TH Real Estate, added: “Jestico + Whiles has a well-deserved reputation for its excellent work on a number of prestigious hotel and leisure facilities throughout the world. The team demonstrated a thorough understanding and imagination for what we would like to achieve for Edinburgh St James which was reflected in their proposals.”

A hotel operator is currently being sought for the venue which will house 210 rooms and a 41,000sq/ft apart hotel, although the final design and specifications remain flexible depending on tenant requirements.

Work on the masterplan is due to start later this year for completion by 2020.
The dramatic design is described as 'free flowing and bold'
The dramatic design is described as 'free flowing and bold'
The new-look St James will offer 750,000 sq ft of retail space including a multi-screen cinema and over 30 restaurants
The new-look St James will offer 750,000 sq ft of retail space including a multi-screen cinema and over 30 restaurants


#1 Posted by Roddy on 3 Mar 2015 at 20:39 PM
Edinburgh gets a replacement and solution for its 60's planning disaster whilst Glasgow sets about creating one for 21st century.....

With schemes like St James and now with RMA's Candleriggs we need to be cautious about the public spaces these schemes subtend. Will they be like Spinnigfields in Manchester or the New Bull Ring in Birmingham or Liverpool One in which G4S have roving operatives harassing picture takers and others who do not fit with their idea of a shopper profile.

London , and England have already set the paradigm- it's worth reading Ian Martin's funny and shocking piece in the Guardian if you haven't already. The point is this: Glasgow City Council are more than happy to excise a well loved, well used public space and privatise it in the name of retail monoculture. Furthermore Vice - Convener of Planning in Glasgow, one Jonathan Finlay asserts : "I don't think the steps offer the kind of open space we should have aspirations for in out city."

With guys like that in office we would do well to be vigilant
#2 Posted by Roddy on 4 Mar 2015 at 00:48 AM
"...Glasgow sets about creating one for 21st century....." To be clear I was referring to Buchanan Galleries.

The RMA scheme is infinitely more interesting and sensitive to the urban grain of the city. I maintain the same sentiment as above in relation to the public spaces it creates however.
glasgow 21st
#3 Posted by glasgow 21st on 4 Mar 2015 at 09:17 AM
Roddy, wanna swap? I'd take Alan Murray and that above over BDP and the Galleries superblock anyday.
glasgow 21st
#4 Posted by glasgow 21st on 4 Mar 2015 at 09:36 AM
apologies roddy, i completely misread your comment. on rereading i agree entirely. Alas we are stuck, no swapsies. edinburgh at least tries.
#5 Posted by Sven on 4 Mar 2015 at 10:09 AM
More of a peeled apple as the copper will oxidise very quickly to bronze colour then green. It would look better in a different material like Aluminium.

The design of the ribbon needs taming as it goes down to street level is too intrusive and splits the area and will be something for idiots to climb up. The roof ribbon is also a bit too candle/aljazeera logo looking: perhaps a nod to Scotland's crown steeple heritage would be an improvement and make an appropriate nod to the cities history.
Steven J Brennan
#6 Posted by Steven J Brennan on 4 Mar 2015 at 10:50 AM
The Glasgow council planners caved to public opnion on George square but this time its retail so no give.
The peeled orange will look awful inside a year, Sven is right.
The Flâneur
#7 Posted by The Flâneur on 4 Mar 2015 at 11:01 AM
Hmmmm... Does the ‘Orange Peel’ at the St James Centre in Edinburgh + the ‘Pedal Bin’ at the Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow = marriage made in heaven?
#8 Posted by Rabbie on 4 Mar 2015 at 11:23 AM
I like it.
#9 Posted by Shabbadoo on 4 Mar 2015 at 11:33 AM
Oh dear! Whats suddenly just happened?!
I thought the original proposal looked great, being simple/restrained and didn't detract too much from the surrounding (listed) buildings.
Is this a case of 'too many cooks'?
I presume this hasn't yet gone forward to the planners and is some sort of bargaining chip to get ECC to 'hurry up, or this is whats we might do'!
#10 Posted by Mike on 4 Mar 2015 at 13:00 PM
Love it. Get it built. I bet it'll look spectacular at night with light penetrating the folds of ribbon. A highly distinct modern landmark that will stand Edinburgh out like the Selfridges did for Birmingham at the excellent Bullring development.
the sultan of brooneye
#11 Posted by the sultan of brooneye on 4 Mar 2015 at 13:02 PM
Shabbadoo is right, one would think the greater the number of cooks the tastier the soup, but no, the increasing number of chef's is having a detrimental effect on the quality of the broth.

Also let's be brutally honest, high profile regeneration scheme or not, how likely is it that a hotel operator is going to jump at the chance to own, maintain and operate this 'orange peel' - I can spy a hotel operator coming in with their own in-house architects and value engineering the heck out of this, and extravagant forms built cheaply generally look very poor from day one.

*drops mic, walks off stage*
#12 Posted by Clashnessie on 4 Mar 2015 at 13:19 PM
IMHO, boldness is perfect for this site - sitting largely enclosed within the heart of the rest of the development. The rest of it has already lost a wee bit of lustre with the more sandstone, less glass, smaller windows treatment - ticking a planners list but in the process creating a lot of very samey and rather bland new builds in Edinburgh these days.
#13 Posted by Simon on 4 Mar 2015 at 13:38 PM
At last, something bold and intriguing for the city centre. Cue the 'strip the city of UNESCO status' thunderers.
#14 Posted by Roddy on 4 Mar 2015 at 17:08 PM
I may be labouring under a complete misapprehension but Edinburgh Planning Dept seem to have a much more sophisticated and realistic outlook than that of Glasgow. A few blunders aside I would say that Edinburgh has come off much better than dear old Glasgow in the last 20 years or so. Glasgow Harbour, Pacific Quay, IFSD, Merchant City , Collegelands, Bellgrove Quarter ,Anderston, Dalmarnock, New Gorbals and Laurieston .Not one of these fully formed and ready to have the umbilical cord snipped.
#15 Posted by Shabbadoo on 4 Mar 2015 at 17:41 PM
Al jazeera logo ???
the sultan of brooneye
#16 Posted by the sultan of brooneye on 5 Mar 2015 at 10:34 AM
*walks back on stage, retrieves mic*

It reminds me more of the 'smiling-poop-emoji' that apple product users will be familiar with - rather than a peeled orange.

Much too whispy at the top for the strong Edinburgh wind.
#17 Posted by Rem-Job on 5 Mar 2015 at 11:21 AM
Its fantastic…. Now if they could just re-peel it back to its spherical shape, then compress it into a rectangle, change the colour to light stone cladding and put large dark grey framed windows on the elevations with dark grey railings on the outside of the large sliding windows on the upper levels we can make this citrus dream a reality……
#18 Posted by neil on 5 Mar 2015 at 13:51 PM
I'm not certain if I like it but I believe this is one of the few sites in central Edinburgh that you can get away with something a bit crazy. The rest of the development is the very polite and inoffensive style that we have got used to in Edinburgh - and I think it probably needs to be in the context. This is an opportunity to let your hair down and as such I fully support it even if I'm not sure if I like it.

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