Royal High hotel vision: a bird’s eye view

Artist's impression of the proposed Rosewood Hotel on the site of the former Royal High School, in Edinburgh. Picture: supplied
Artist's impression of the proposed Rosewood Hotel on the site of the former Royal High School, in Edinburgh. Picture: supplied
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FRESH images have been unveiled showcasing the transformation of the old Royal High School on Calton Hill into a five-star luxury hotel.

Often dubbed one of Edinburgh’s most important buildings, the A-listed neoclassical structure – designed by Thomas Hamilton in the early 19th century – has lain empty for almost 50 years.

But earlier this year developers Duddingston House Properties released detailed plans to turn the neglected building into a new home for the high-class Rosewood hotel company.

The £75 million scheme would see huge “Inca-style” terraces constructed on either side to house 147 rooms. However, the proposals have been heavily criticised by heritage groups, with Historic Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage both lodging objections.

Architect Gareth Hoskins said this is how the hotel could look if it gets the go-ahead from councillors later this month.

“This view from Calton Hill is important as it shows the building in its wider setting of the Old Town, Scottish Parliament and Salisbury Crags,” he said.

“It shows the two wings terracing and splaying away from the main Hamilton building, giving it space and revealing the view to the end gables.

“The angle of the terracing and façade is inspired by the distant crags and their flora.

“Looking down on the building, you can see the naturalistic landscape on the roof edges and a more rugged landscape on the roof that uses local Machar, gorse, heather and stone.

“At the moment this area of the city is a clutter of buildings so the new wings enhance the views from the public path up to the hill and also generally make a positive contribution to this area of the city.”