O’Donnell Brown’s retrofit will improve energy performance of building

Tom Manley_HUB_Thistle Street_High Res_1

Source: HubCap

The sandstone and slate building was originally built as a warehouse

Plans to convert a listed 19th century warehouse building in Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage Site into a new hotel have been approved. 

Proposals by Glasgow-based architecture practice O’Donnell Brown would see the sandstone and slate building, most recently used for office space, turned into a 72-room aparthotel for client HubCap. 

The 11-15 Thistle Street scheme will introduce low-impact structural solutions to repurpose the building, according to the architect, and will start on site next autumn. 

It sits within the New Town Conservation Area and the Edinburgh Old and New Town UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The deep retrofit of the building will also improve its environmental performance, giving it the potential to be operationally net zero. 

Originally built as a printing works and warehouse for an encyclopaedia and dictionary company, the building features 18 bays, typical Georgian-style timber sash and case windows, and a dual-pitched roof. 

O’Donnell Brown’s design retains the iron supporting columns and brick vaulted ceilings, as well as the basement cross vaults. 

Thistle Street Reception

The aparthotel is located within the Edinburgh Old and New Town UNESCO World Heritage Site

Andrew Cusack, HubCap, said: “This project exemplifies HubCap’s approach, taking a building nearing the end of its current lifecycle and repurposing it for living space.  

“O’Donnell Brown has responded to our brief to save embodied carbon where possible, and minimise operational carbon for the refurbished building, while retaining its attractive heritage features.”  

Jennifer O’Donnell, director at O’Donnell Brown, said: “Thistle Street was our first project for HubCap, which makes this planning consent an important milestone for the practice.  

“Through balancing necessary improvements to the building’s energy performance, with carefully converting and celebrating the listed structure, this significant building will be given a new lease of life.”