Princes Street Shopping Edinburgh, Shop Buildings Developments, Scottish Capital Retail Architecture News

Princes St Shopping, Edinburgh

Shops on Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

10 Jan 2012

Princes Street Closed

Princes Street – pedestrianised since November when the tram works were lifted – is set to remain free from traffic after the current tram works are complete as part of new trial into permanent pedestrianisation, report the Edinburgh Evening News.

The move would mean buses and taxis would continue to be diverted on to George Street until after the summer festivals. If the trial is approved, council chiefs will use it to gather feedback before deciding whether to push ahead with a permanent closure within two years.

That would mean all traffic – except the eventual tram – banned from the street. Diverting traffic away from Princes Street was one of the recommendations of a controversial city centre blueprint by Danish-based Gehl Architects.

Princes Street image from RCAHMS national collection:
Princes Street

Princes Street Edinburgh Store

Romanes & Paterson
Princes Street store to reopen on 1st of April after £1m refurbishment following the massive fire in August 2007.

Romanes & Paterson
image © Adrian Welch

B-listed Romanes & Paterson store has been at 62 Princes Street since 1878. Edinburgh Woollen Mill own Romanes & Paterson. The building is owned by Belfast-based Deramore Property Group.

Princes Street Hotel News
Princes Street Hotel
picture from architect
The first new hotel on Princes Street for 50 years looks set for redesign due to mounting opposition from heritage groups: Princes Street Hotel

Edinburgh City Centre Regeneration
Princes Street Edinburgh
picture from council
Vision for the redevelopment of the Capital’s heart, including glass-covered walkways linking Princes St and George St: Princes Street Regeneration
Apr 2007

MFA Princes Street Framework

Princes StEdinburgh Princes Street Gardens Princes Street Edinburgh photo
images © Adrian Welch, 21 Jan 2007


Cockburn Association Comment:

Shopping Edinburgh

People keep looking for the big fixes to solve Edinburgh’s problems. However, what is becoming more apparent is that it is the small initiatives that are bringing about the transformation of the city. Examples include the introduction of the Farmers Market, the removal of the tripods on Princes Street, the provision of more shops on George and Rose Street, the increase in litter-bins and improvements to bus shelters.

In all these initiatives it has to be recognised that Edinburgh is a city of beauty and that for any scheme to be successful it has to pay attention to the special distinction of the city. As it is for this reason that Edinburgh has been granted World Heritage Status and is visited by millions each year. It is also part of the reason that people choose to live and work in this glorious city.

Princes Street Shopping
Princes St shops, image © Adrian Welch

Edinburgh Shopping: Princes Street Vision

A recent initiative has seen the City Council take a firm stance on the quality of shopfront design. One only wishes that they would have started sooner. If you walk around Edinburgh and look above the shopfront you will witness what is one of the biggest detriments to the city’s reputation. The mixture of shopfronts is shocking; made in cheap materials, using inappropriate colours and of proportions that bear no relationship to the building.

Princes St
Shopping Edinburgh : Frasers on Princes Street

Indeed there are now a growing number of shopfronts on Princes Street that were refused planning permission by the City Council. Action now needs to be taken to remove these from the streetscene. The Council’s guidelines are quite clear, stating what they expect in terms of materials and proportions while being a bit fuzzy on what constitutes an appropriate colour. These need to be adhered to.

Princes Street
image © Adrian Welch 210107

If you travel to other cities such as York or Canterbury you will notice that much greater care is taken over the appearance of shopfronts. Multi-national companies have altered their corporate design to take account of the beautiful environment. If they can change their designs in these other cities then why not in Edinburgh.

All this does not remove the ability for modern designs to be produced, and there are a number around the city that add to the vitality of the area. Instead it puts the emphasis on the designers to produce a higher quality product rather than simply use a design that was used in London and then rolled out around the country.

Princes Street Edinburgh
Princes St from Castle, image © Adrian Welch: 2005

Another aspect that is presently being assessed is what to do with an empty shopfront. CB Hillier Parker and Royal Sun Alliance have to be congratulated for their pink film they have placed over the unit underneath the New Club. It has lasted well and is visually attractive.

The other route taken by the Edinburgh City Centre Management Company is to use controlled fly posting. The difference being that the owners of the building wish to demolish it so don’t care as much as to how it looks. It therefore seems both methods will be used throughout the city by building owners depending on their needs.

Edinburgh will never compete with the quantity of shops in Glasgow, but what it can do is concentrate on improving the quality of the offer and continue the enhancements to the retail environment. The focus being given to shopfronts is essential and at the same time attention also needs to be given to other small projects like street clutter and pedestrian priority in the city centre.

‘Shopping Edinburgh’ by Martin Hulse, Cockburn Association Apr 2003

Princes Street Edinburgh Comment by Cockburn Association

British Home Stores:

Edinburgh, Scotland
BHS image from Princes St Gardens © Adrian Welch, 2005

New Club, Princes Street:

Modern Edinburgh Building
New Club Edinburgh image © Adrian Welch

Edinburgh Shopping = Princes Street Shopping?
Princes Street
image © AW
More high-quality shops are needed to keep Princes Street as Scotland’s top shopping destination, a new group set up to improve the street claimed today. Edinburgh City Council leader Donald Anderson launched a scathing attack on the street, describing some of the temporary shops as ‘bloody awful’.

Princes St
photo © AW

Princes Street: Still a Street of Palaces?
George Ferguson visited Edinburgh as part of a ‘wonders and blunders’ tour of the UK in his role as president of the Royal Institute of British Architects. ‘Princes Street could be repaired by the removal of a few rotten teeth. There are good architects in Edinburgh that could contribute to that.’

House of Frasers: Move from Princes Street?
Princes Street Shopping
picture © Adrian Welch
Frasers no longer seems to see a bright future in remaining at what is increasingly looking like being the wrong end of town. The House of Fraser is reported in 2003/2004 to be considering move from Princes Street.

Debenhams Edinburgh

TK Max Meadowbank Retail Park

Edinburgh Shopping : Centres, Malls, Retail Parks

Contemporary Scottish Capital Retail Building Designs – key selection below:

Craigleith Retail Park

Fort Kinnaird Shopping Park, southeast Edinburgh

Cameron Toll Shopping Centre, south Edinburgh

John Lewis, central Edinburgh

Ocean Terminal

Asda Edinburgh Shopping Centre

IKEA Edinburgh

New Kirkgate Shopping Centre

St James Centre

South Gyle Shopping Centre

Comments / photos for the Princes Street Shopping Edinburgh Buildings page