New images of St James ‘ribbon’ hotel revealed

An artist's impression of the St James Quarter hotel; below, the view from Calton Hill showing its impact on the city skyline. Picture: comp
An artist's impression of the St James Quarter hotel; below, the view from Calton Hill showing its impact on the city skyline. Picture: comp
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Detailed new images of a landmark “ribbon” hotel at the centre of the St James development have been published, revealing the dramatic impact it will have on views from Calton Hill.

But the bold building, with distinctive copper-coloured rings around the hotel rising to a “crown”, has been criticised for being “crammed in” – leaving it barely visible from most parts of the city centre and New Town.

The 12-storey, 204-room hotel will offer visitors 
stunning views from within – while from an aerial vantage point it will look remarkably like a cupcake.

However, the design has been criticised for a lack of open space.

Marion Williams, chair of heritage watchdog The Cockburn Association, said: “Hotels want to cram in as many rooms as possible, so it will get less elegant as it goes along. You’ve really compromised the space by the time you put that in there. If only we could have the square without the hotel, as an urban space with shops on all sides, instead of that squashed in.”

Tom Parnell, who heads the Edinburgh chapter of the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland, previously praised the bold design.

The St James Quarter hotel

The St James Quarter hotel

But he said today that he was worried the top of the hotel could spoil views from George Street.

Heinz Richardson, director of architects Jestico + Whiles previously said of the project: “The contemporary design will be sympathetic to the surrounding World Heritage Site and its history, providing a first-class destination at the heart of the city’s new retail quarter.”

The hotel

The hotel