The existing Leonardo Royal Hotel on Jeffrey Street Edinburgh is at the centre of the Edinburgh Old Town UNESCO World Heritage Site with one of the highest room occupancies in the UK.
In 2018 Fairhurst was appointed to progress the structural and civil engineering designs to RIBA Stage 2 and planning application submission for a mixed-use development comprising an 8-storey 100-bedroom extension to the existing hotel, 31 new residential apartments, 4 retail units around external courtyard terraces, and a new 125 bed boutique hotel.
Following receipt of planning permission, a design and build tender was developed to start work onsite in November 2021 with a targeted handover in 2024.
Fairhurst’s multi-disciplinary engineering input was key to the development of the site commencing, with the delivery of an 8-storey reinforced concrete flat slab structure with multiple levels of basement stepped into the steep topography. This is then topped with a complex steel framed pitched roof used to screen roof top plant.
Significant challenges to be overcome included: the design and commissioning of an intrusive ground investigation; the surface water drainage strategy including basement attenuation tanks; embedded retaining walls and control of groundwater/movement, to allow basement construction adjacent to existing historic listed structures.
Structural alterations to the existing hotel and Grade C-listed tenement building were also required to provide connectivity for visitors from the old building frontage to the new development.