Hotel plans submitted for Edinburgh office building

A 1970s office building within the West Coates area of Edinburgh could be converted into a 157 bedroom hotel under transformational development proposals.

Plans for the new hotel at Osborne House on Osborne Terrace have been submitted by Comprehensive Design Architects (CDA) on behalf of Yorkshire-based developer S Harrison. The scheme would also include space for a restaurant and bar on the ground floor.

S Harrison acquired the four storey office building, which is close to the Haymarket tram stop, earlier this year. It was designed by the renowned modernist architecture studio Morris and Steedman, but its dated layout, low ceilings and unique grid-like structure have made in unattractive to modern tenants, with 60% of the building currently unoccupied.

Ann Scott from S Harrison said: “The building has been marketed for commercial rent for a long period of time, and it has struggled to attract new tenants. Its set structure and façade, combined with insufficient escape stairs and staff facilities have meant that it couldn’t even be divided into smaller office units, as it’s just not up to acceptable modern standards.

“The existing structure does however lend itself perfectly for hotel use which could give Osborne House a new lease of life.”

The new design would retain the current structure and facades of Osborne House but repair and refurbish the entire building, with a new top floor constructed facing onto West Coates. This would have a high quality glazed façade to create a lightweight feel that would blend in with the surrounding environment. A single storey building on Devon Place would also be replaced with a new extension at the back of Osborne House that would have an aluminium-clad façade, with projecting narrow fins, to provide a modern interpretation of what’s already in place.

The rear courtyard car parking would be replaced with a lower rear extension wing which has been designed to incorporate chamfered windows to retain privacy for the surrounding properties, giving the building more of a domestic scale at the back. Soft landscaping and planting at the front and rear of Osborne House would also improve the street scene. The hotel would also include a taxi drop-off area, disabled parking, cycle storage area and dedicated service bay.

Ann added: “Located in a prominent corner position Osborne House benefits from excellent transport connections and is an ideal location for a hotel. This development is the fourth project in the City that we have brought forward. In 2016 we transformed a site on Leith Walk, that was formally part of Edinburgh’s original Botanic Gardens, into a £23 million, 240 bedroom, retail and student accommodation scheme, known as Haddington Place.

“We have also recently started work converting Buchan House, a historic Grade A listed building on St Andrew Square, into a stunning new 72-bedroom hotel with Malmaison Hotel du Vin Group. Last year we purchased a site on the waterfront in Leith, and we are currently exploring several other exciting opportunities in and around Edinburgh.”

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