St James Centre Edinburgh shopping, Scottish capital shops, Architect, Retail plans, Store design

St James Shopping Centre Edinburgh

St James Quarter Architecture Photos, Redevelopment + Demolition News

post updated 20 April 2024

St James Quarter
Architects: BDP Glasgow studio + Allan Murray Architects
St James Quarter Edinburgh

18 Aug 2021
BDP has helped complete the delivery of phase one of the new St James Quarter, Edinburgh, working with client Nuveen Real Estate to create a new destination in the heart of the capital.

post updated 4 July 2021 with new photos ; 23 June 2021

St James Quarter Opening

The view looking East along George Street with the controversial hotel spiral dominating the skyline beyond:
Edinburgh St James Quarter shops
photos © Isabelle Lomholt

The retail centre opened on 24 June 2021. The new St James Quarter shopping centre contains around 850,000 sq. feet of retail space.

Edinburgh St James Quarter entrance

The neighbouring John Lewis & Partners store remains as the shopping centre’s anchor. The retail centre has a capacity of 80 units.

Edinburgh St James Quarter entry

A W Hotel, Roomzzz Hotel and Everyman Cinema are due to open 2022. W Hotels have a new hotel in the centre of the development.

Edinburgh St James Quarter George St Edinburgh St James Quarter building

The hotel building proved controversial for its unique ribbon design, receiving a range of undesirable nicknames. Comments about the architecture are welcome. at info(at) – just another large retail centre? not special enough for the World Heritage site? Much better than the old montrosity?

St James Quarter on YouTube

27 May 2016

St James Centre

St James Centre

New Town St James Centre– photos of the building as it is demolished to pave way to a new shopping mall.

4 Mar 2016

St James Centre Demolition

Design: Allan Murray Architects with BDP

Yes, it is finally happening at last.

This will be a huge event not only for Edinburgh architecture but the whole city. The forbidding mass that clutches to the skyline in views from the north and east is at last to be demolished!

This sixties building should never have been built: it is ugly as a form, poorly lit inside, badly detailed, with many lifeless street-level facades and dark soulless nooks and crannies.

Viewed from the north it forms a solid silhouette, totally lacking joie de vivre. Viewed from the east it is partly assuaged by Basil Spence’s austerely monolithic John Lewis department store, but still makes for a pretty grim view.

Editor, architect Adrian Welch.

St James Centre Demolition News

Major demolition works marking the start of the £850 million redevelopment of the St James Centre in Edinburgh are to get underway in May.

The site between Princes Street, Leith Walk and York Place will be transformed to make way for up to one million square feet of prime retail space, plus a 210-room hotel, car park, 30 restaurants, luxury apartments and a multi-screen cinema.
The five-star hotel, the design of which has been compared to a walnut whip, is at the centre of the scheme.

Proposed Edinburgh St James ribbon hotel building by Jestico + Whiles Architects:
Edinburgh St James ribbon hotel building

Some 143 homes, mostly one and two-bed flats, will also be included in the project which is due to be completed by 2020.
According to a report to go before councillors next week, preparations for the project are going well.

It said the majority of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) have been agreed and negotiations are progressing well for outstanding land acquisitions.

The development, which will retain the existing John Lewis store, will also include a multi-screen cinema which is expected to offer more art house films than the Vue multiplex at the nearby Omni centre.

It is understood developers are hoping to attract at least one Michelin-starred restaurant to the new complex.

A footbridge which crosses Leith Street is being removed as part of the project but the council, which owns the bridge, plans to store it and try to “recycle” it in a new location.

Edinburgh St James hotel: Register Square
St James Quarter Edinburgh
image of the development

Council leader Andrew Burns said the scheme would be an exciting addition to the city centre.

“It’s going to make a massive difference. It’s not just the shops, there are up to 30 restaurants,” he said.
“It will transform Edinburgh’s shopping offer.”

The St James Quarter is among a series of developments to have attracted the attention of heritage experts, who have been examining whether or not Edinburgh should retain its world heritage status.

St James Quarter

Dates: 2011-16
Design: Allan Murray Architects with BDP

Approx. cost: £850m
90 stores, 250 new homes, 15,000 sqft office space, hotel, 1,800 parking spaces

Edinburgh St James Centre John Lewis

Edinburgh St James hotel: St James Square
Edinburgh St James hotel
image of the development
Edinburgh St James Hotel Building – one of largest regeneration projects currently underway in the UK.

Ribbon Hotel Edinburgh:
Ribbon Hotel Edinburgh
image of the development

Jestico + Whiles

Website: Edinburgh St James Quarter

Architecture Design at John Lewis & Partners Store

News Update Feb 2009
St James Quarter approval- Outline plans for the St James Quarter, as well as the proposed demolition, have been recommended for approval by the council’s planning committee, but with over 20 conditions.

News Update Sep 2008
Proposed tower – as high as the Balmoral Hotel tower – at centre of the development dropped. The five-star hotel will remain in the central rotunda building, but the removal of the tower might speed up the planning process.

Various issues remain, such as the reported 250 flats, approx 1800 car spaces and development where Picardy Place roundabout currently exists, in front of St Marys Cathedral: St James Quarter.

0131 557 0050

St James Centre
St James Centre, Edinburgh
image from architect

John Lewis
Shopping Centre, Edinburgh
John Lewis: photo by Adrian Welch
John Lewis Edinburgh underwent a £25m redesign in 2003-04, expanding its area at the St James Centre by a fifth.

New Town St James Centre : Background on the area

John Lewis Edinburgh store architects : Sir Basil Spence Glover & Ferguson

Leith Street Bridge

Opposite the St James Centre is Calton Square and omniedinburgh

Scottish Capital Shopping Buildings

Edinburgh Shopping Malls, Retail Parks

Fort Kinnaird Shopping Park, southeast Edinburgh

Cameron Toll Shopping Centre, south Edinburgh

Ocean Terminal, Leith

ASDA Edinburgh Shopping Centre, The Jewel, southeast Edinburgh

IKEA Edinburgh, south Edinburgh

John Lewis Edinburgh, central Edinburgh

Meadowbank Shopping Park, east Edinburgh

St James Centre, central Edinburgh

Gyle Shopping Centre, west Edinburgh

Comments / photos for the St James Quarter Architecture pages welcome