The redevelopment comprises a 259 bedroom Ibis Hotel, 2 retail & 3 commercial units and 2 adjoining night clubs with works including demolition of existing building and constructing new build on an infill site. The hotel incorporated with additional mixed-use development and a series of external terraces providing a new pedestrian route and spaces through this part of historic Edinburgh. Also included was the re-establishment of the jazz club La Belle Angele that was located on the site prior to the fire and extensive new external public realm space.
The complex and sensitive ‘SoCo’ development site lies within the heart of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site and the Old Town Conservation Area. Following a devastating fire in 2002 the site in this vital part of Edinburgh’s Old Town laid derelict for ten years.
The locality of the two signification routes that cut through the city played a paramount role in the design process as it was vital that the development addressed the classical formality of South Bridge and the medieval feu structure of Cowgate while working with the contemporary functionality of the city and improving access between the two levels that exist in Edinburgh. Anchored by a 259 bed Ibis hotel and a Sainsbury’s Local on South Bridge, SoCo creates excellent linkages between the vibrant night life of Cowgate with The University of Edinburgh and the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street, along with the main arterial route of South Bridge which includes the nearby Festival Theatre.