Hoskins Architects, with client Duddingston House Properties (DHP), successfully competed for the opportunity to provide a long-term, sustainable redevelopment of Edinburgh’s former Royal High School. The outstanding Greek Revival building, designed by Thomas Hamilton, opened in 1829 and functioned as a school until 1968. All subsequent plans for the building – including proposals to house the Scottish Assembly in the 1970s, and the Scottish Parliament in the 1990s have failed to materialise.
This £55 million project, led by DHP and Urbanist Hotels, will bring the important, category A listed building back into permanent use for the first time in over 40 years. The design proposals will see the building converted and extended to form a new luxury hotel for Edinburgh. The primary public functions of reception, lounge, bars and restaurant are provided in the spectacular internal volumes of the Hamilton building; while the bedrooms, spa, ballroom, and services are located in new-build wings either side of the main building.
The design gives careful consideration to Hamilton’s vision for the site, the Calton Hill landscape, and the wider townscape setting. It is a dynamic, innovative response to the specific challenges posed by this historically significant site.