Hostel ‘pods’ plan for Edinburgh’s old courthouse and cells

Plans have been submitted to transform former Parliament Square police chambers into hostel "pods".
Plans have been submitted to transform former Parliament Square police chambers into hostel "pods".
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Plans have been submitted to transform a former courthouse and jail building at Parliament Square into boutique pod-style accommodation.

Once upon a time the A-listed building at 1a Parliament Square was home to Edinburgh’s District Court but is now set to be turned into a ‘capsule hotel’

If the current proposal goes ahead, the majority of the existing Georgian building would be preserved along with many original interior features - including former courthouse cells.

Edinburgh-based hotel firm Code, who currently operate a boutique hostel on Rose Street, also aim to recover some of the building’s numerous blocked up windows and reinstate its historic original entranceway, which at present is being used for storage access.

In a supporting statement Code wrote: “The existing building is inefficiently utilised given the original design of the building for holding cells and court rooms.

“This proposal by Code seeks to utilise and celebrate the historic fabric of the building through ensuring that every possible aspect of the building is put to good use.

“It is the historic and original use of the building which excites Code and would be used as a key component of the marketing and theme of the new hotel to provide a unique visitor experience.

“Given the number of younger visitors travelling to Edinburgh it is surprising not to see more good modern, high quality hostels in operation.”

The statement added: “Code prides itself on working with local business within Edinburgh which includes software developers, designers and architects, and want to take local suppliers on their journey with them.”