Exclusive insight into Buchan House transformation given at Edinburgh event

Members of Edinburgh’s property community have been given the first opportunity to see the careful planning and attention to detail involved with transforming a historic New Town building into one of the city’s finest boutique hotels.

S Harrison is currently converting the Grade A listed Buchan House, on the north-west corner of St Andrew Square, where it meets North St David Street, into a 72-bedroom Malmaison hotel complete with Chez Mal Bar and Brasserie.

Principal contractor, Edinburgh-based Sharkey, started work in May 2018 with completion scheduled for this November.

More than 60 property professionals attended the event which showcased the meticulous project work, and they also had the opportunity to tour parts of the new hotel. Attendees heard from members of S Harrison’s development team about the history of the building and their thorough approach to the planning process.

In addition, the team from interior design specialist, Dakota House of Design, talked about how they are complementing the historic fabric of the building with a highly distinctive and stylish interior.

David Clancy from S Harrison said: “It takes a huge amount of painstaking planning to successfully bring a historic and significant building like Buchan House back to life properly. This event was an opportunity to hear and see first-hand the work involved, whilst also being given access to a sample of the hotel’s bedrooms.

“We received excellent feedback about the work and the restoration of its original features, including its ornate cornicing and large windows, many of which offer stunning views over both St Andrew Square and towards the Firth of Forth. By combining these features with a contemporary and luxurious interior, there’s no doubt this will be a very special hotel.”

Ford Swanson from Ryden LLP said: “I very much enjoyed touring the property and observing first-hand how the project is progressing. It is clear from the careful and considerate design, the quality of materials and products specified together with the expert workmanship under the detailed supervision of S Harrison that the finished hotel will be stunning. It will most certainly turn heads and will be a welcome addition to Malmaison’s portfolio and to Edinburgh’s boutique hotel offering.”

One of the first buildings in the New Town, Buchan House was built in 1775 as five townhouses by renowned architect and builder John Young, who was the first tradesman to build in Edinburgh’s New Town and became a hugely influential figure within the city’s building industry. 

More recently it was used as offices by computer giant IBM, which took occupation in 1974.  The building has stood empty in recent years and it now forms part of Edinburgh’s New Town Conservation Area and also the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site. 

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