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Contentious Edinburgh ‘ribbon’ hotel wins seal of approval

August 12 2015

Contentious Edinburgh ‘ribbon’ hotel wins seal of approval
Contentious plans to erect a set-piece hotel at the heart of the planned redevelopment of Edinburgh’s St James Centre have been given the go-ahead by the city’s development management sub-committee – against the recommendation of their own planners.

The decision clears the way for developer TH Real Estate to begin work on the peeled ‘egg’ shaped structure, which will rise 106m AOD and offer expansive views across the city from a public gallery. This follows a 20m height increase and a corresponding increase in girth to 50 by 38m at its widest to accommodate the rooftop look-out.

Explaining these changes Jestico + Whiles noted that the newly ‘inverted’ nature of the design (bars and restaurants at the top with bedrooms below) would democratise access to the views but also necessitated larger cores to accommodate increased vertical circulation.

The architects said: “The ribbon feature element at the top of the building has been conceived to be elegant and ethereal, as if flying like a pennant in the Edinburgh breeze. The height and form of this feature poses significant structural challenges and the elegance and lightness that has been successfully achieved belies the necessary structural system which is integrated so as to be entirely invisible.”

The five star hotel will span 12 floors and is clad in a combination of glass and bronze coloured stainless steel.
Contentious Edinburgh ‘ribbon’ hotel wins seal of approval
Contentious Edinburgh ‘ribbon’ hotel wins seal of approval

Contentious Edinburgh ‘ribbon’ hotel wins seal of approval
Contentious Edinburgh ‘ribbon’ hotel wins seal of approval


#1 Posted by Roddy on 12 Aug 2015 at 14:39 PM
At the recent Glaswegian Resistance Force meeting the team were proudly unveiling plans for a massive Jobby sculpture right in the centre of Edinburgh.
At no point did Team Weegie ever think their plans would become reality.
the sultan of brooneye
#2 Posted by the sultan of brooneye on 12 Aug 2015 at 14:47 PM
Someone check the stock room....we're going to need to order some new brown envelopes...not a clue where they all went to....
#3 Posted by Jon on 12 Aug 2015 at 15:00 PM
.....Is that a jobbie?
#4 Posted by Bob2 on 12 Aug 2015 at 19:45 PM
At last a contemporary contribution to Edinburgh's skyline. Guys I don't know what your jobbies look llke but you have my sympathy.
#5 Posted by shabbadoo on 13 Aug 2015 at 09:02 AM
Thanks JW! You guys rock!
Mr Whippy anyone?
#6 Posted by Gringo on 13 Aug 2015 at 09:31 AM
I know I've seen this before somewhere....
#7 Posted by Rhodgers on 13 Aug 2015 at 12:42 PM
Amazed this has gotten through. Totally agree with the scale and ambition of the design, but yes it does look like a jobby. A competition for the site should have been held
My Hanky
#8 Posted by My Hanky on 13 Aug 2015 at 13:12 PM
No lesson learnt from Tokyo, where locals now point out to tourists that they have a ridiculous "golden t*rd" architectural statement in their city that brings their accepted global humiliation. Yup, it is a good talking point, but it isn't on their skyline. Hopefully this will look better than it seems. One thing for sure is that any potential blame will be directed to our planners for decades rather than the politicians and architect that made it happen.
#9 Posted by David on 13 Aug 2015 at 13:52 PM
I'm really struggling to understand this.

We have been working on a site very close to this, and during planning stages experienced an extreme level of objection (or to put it more accurately, a brick wall) for even a single storey addition to a low, 4 storey building, which did not break the sky-line. I'm at a loss as to comprehend how something like this, which has such a clear significant impact on the skyline gets approval (I'm not even going to enter the debate on the aesthetics, other than to say that it further magnifies my lack of comprehension). UR it would be good to see a view from the opposite direction, showing the impact it has on Calton Hill, which as far as I was aware used to be an important viewpoint for the planning dept. which was worth protecting (one of the 'key views' within their skyline document). Clearly not the case any more.
best of a bad job-bie
#10 Posted by best of a bad job-bie on 13 Aug 2015 at 13:54 PM
#7 - Rhodgers - there was a competition and this (or rather a smaller version of it) was the winner
#11 Posted by UR on 13 Aug 2015 at 14:08 PM
Hi David - I've added some additional photomontages to the story.
Big Chantelle's Big Jobby
#12 Posted by Big Chantelle's Big Jobby on 13 Aug 2015 at 14:13 PM
It looks like Zaha Hadid has done a massive architectural jobby on Edinburgh...
Urban Animation
#13 Posted by Urban Animation on 13 Aug 2015 at 14:17 PM
#9, Worth noting, David, that this was recommended for refusal by the Planners and that recommendation was overturned by Councillors.
#14 Posted by Cadmonkey on 13 Aug 2015 at 14:35 PM
The Planning Committee obviously don't care what Edinburgh looks like. Which begs the question....why are they on the Planning Committee?
What a disgraceful decision and a shameful design.
#15 Posted by David on 13 Aug 2015 at 15:20 PM
Yes Urban Animation, I've now spotted that.

Makes it even more bewidering. Brown envelopes indeed. A fairly corrupt smell coming from this particular turd.
#16 Posted by Rhodgers on 13 Aug 2015 at 15:27 PM
#10 Posted by best of a bad job-bie
Thanks for posting that, it seems to have grown since the competition, but still seems wrong. It seems this will be something in the vein of anish kapoor's Olympic monument, which they projected for people to hate but eventually love. I for one still don't.
#17 Posted by james on 13 Aug 2015 at 15:29 PM
Jestico 'n Whiles die and go to heaven and knock on the gates to get in. Saint 'big' Peter looks at them an says, 'Architects? Eh? Basically, there's only two things yous need to know aboot architecture - wan o them is morphology an the ither is typology, 'n yous pair obviously ken hee-haw aboot these, so beat it!'
#18 Posted by CADMoney on 13 Aug 2015 at 16:25 PM
This design won a "competition"?
What were the other entries like??
#19 Posted by Rabbie on 13 Aug 2015 at 18:10 PM
Well I like it, but then I do seem to be less scatologically minded than the above commenters. I think it looks like an interesting addition to the skyline. I can imagine the grief that Edinburgh would receive here had the plans been rejected: 'museum piece', 'stuffy', 'safe'....
#20 Posted by T.H.Ford on 14 Aug 2015 at 00:25 AM
The design renders as ever shows this building in bright sunny conditions to show of the 'marvellous' design and how it will be iconic structure.

Yet we know that the weather conditions of this fair city are not always so.

In fact over the past few years it has been something of a rarity to have such warm sunny weather.

So perhaps, just perhaps, it might be better to see this building (and other new buildings) in another set of images showing actually how it will be it will be in less than ideal conditions, when it is cold and wet and damp.

Will it look as good? Will it be able to properly weather the conditions properly without failing, getting damaged or discolour rapidly in such a way that it will require a high degree of costly maintenance?

Will it be able to endure and survive like the old buildings around it have, whose materials though they have discoloured only lend them sevlves to the fabric and nature of the city? I don't think so.

This design is not capable of it, and as a result Edinburgh will be left with another embarassing eyesore, like the one the site is looking to clear away from and which the city will be stuck with for decades to come, until it is pulled down..

Good solid respected and outstanding architecture that is truly iconic is something of which it gives of itself to the people and to the city as something to inspire to and be looked upon with pride. Where is that in this design? For such a prominent site, where is any of that? This design for that building is kitsch design which will in short order be already outdated and unwieldy.

I think in all due honesty and respect, there needs to be rethink on allowing this building to be built. This is not what this city needs, it is not what it deserves.
James Craig 1739
#21 Posted by James Craig 1739 on 14 Aug 2015 at 23:22 PM
This is truly embarrassing. Somebody should get on the blower to UNESCO. I bet Jestico & Whiles are surprised that the turd concept got planning. How could the planners allow this monstrosity to compete on the skyline with the scotts monument, Destroy the vista along George Street. If this goes ahead it will be used to justify future fecal objects claiming to be architectural expression.
#22 Posted by Clive on 16 Aug 2015 at 05:40 AM
Giro d'Italia trophy?
Mr Hanky
#23 Posted by Mr Hanky on 16 Aug 2015 at 09:40 AM
Oh dear. Only 5 days have passed and folk like #21 are ignorantly blaming the planners?! The forever blamed profession. It was the elected politicians that made this decision, against the will of the planners. And for a design that won an 'architectural competition'.

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