Jenner’s Department Store

Posted on: March 4, 2022

Overall, the Cockburn is strongly supportive of these proposals to bring back to life one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings.

Address: 47 – 52 Princes Street Edinburgh EH2 2DF

Proposal:  Change of Use from retail to mixed-use development including retail and hotel with ancillary uses and restaurant/bar spaces with associated alterations and extensions.

Reference No: 22/00326/FUL and 22/00327/LBC

Closing date for comments: 4/3/2022

Determination date: 25/3/2022

Result: Pending


Cockburn Response

The Association has studied the plans for the redevelopment of the former Jenner’s Department Store and wishes to give its full support the proposals developed by AAA United A/S with David Chipperfield Architects.

Over the past year, the developers and their professional teams have engaged fully with the Cockburn at all stages and shared their thinking as the proposals emerged.  This open, positive and constructive discussion gives us the confidence that scheme proposed is well-considered, sensitive and respectively of this iconic building but also creative and exciting in both ambition and vision.

In terms of use, we are delighted with the retention of retail on basement, ground and first floor levels.  The restoration and re-use of the main hall or Grand Saloon as the premier retail space is particularly welcome.

We have no objection to the hotel use, noting the original dormitories for staff in the original building as a possible precedent for this change of use.  Again, the proposals are sensitive to the historic fabric and make good use of spaces in more modern interventions.  Our one issue here is the use of Rose Street as the main entrance into the hotel with the potential for vehicular conflict on a pedestrian retail and hospitality street.  This is not an insurmountable problem but will need special attention.

In terms of elevational treatment, we support the remodelling of the later Princes Street elevation, which will open up the glazing to create a ‘double-height’ shopfront and support the change from a curved to straight window head. Similarly, the major works to the Rose Street building involve the adaption of an already insensitive building thereby improving its presentation to the street.  We were particularly impressed by the response by the architects to this part of the development, taking a strong lead from the building itself.

We are confident that the design team will deliver sensitive stonework repairs to the highly decorate facades.  In terms of elevational alterations, the most controversial element is the new turret at the corner of Rose Street and South St David Street.  This will be highly visible across St Andrew’s Square and nearby environs.  Like Historic Environment Scotland, more could have been borrowed from the existing facades, but we have confidence in the architects to prepare a well-proportioned, coherent intervention here.

Overall, the Cockburn is strongly supportive of these proposals to bring back to life one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings.