1a Parliament Square—

Client—

Code

Site—

1a Parliament Square

Stage—

Planning

Project Details—

1a Parliament Square is a collaboration with Code to convert the existing building into a 5 star Capsule Hotel accommodation. Located in the heart of ‘Old Town’ the majority of the surrounding buildings are Victorian or Georgian and just like 1a Parliament Square, are rich in cultural history. The proposed development makes minimal alterations to the exterior of the building other than preservation and restoration and will only contribute to the important Old Town Conservation Area which emphasises the survival of these original buildings.

The building at 1a Parliament Square was originally designed as the Edinburgh police chambers and contained both holding cells and courtroom facilities including the former district court. It is proposed that the majority of the existing building pattern will be retained as it stands with the original features and the character of the courthouse and cells exposed. The original features will be expressed to form a central feature of the Code hotel experience. LBAs proposed design not only reinstates many of the existing blocked up windows but recreates the original historic entrance door redefining the historic façade. The building’s history will also be described and highlighted within the reception area and the sleeping rooms will be named after notorious inmates.

Whilst 1a Parliament Square has been subject to internal modification and modernisation during its history the majority of room proportions and the building room pattern remains as original. For this reason, the room types within the building range from very small vaulted rooms with little natural light (original cells) to large congregating spaces (original courtrooms and entrance foyer).

The Code modular sleeping system will be utilised in various configurations to inhabit the existing rooms to provide a selection of room types to suit single visitors, couples or family groups, providing high end city centre accommodation; the design concept is to work with the existing floor plan rather than redefine it. The small cells and tiny windows will in fact emphasise the atmosphere and feeling of this boutique Capsule Hotel.

LBA are thrilled to take this project forward with Code as not only will the history of the site strengthen the proposed development, it’s exciting to celebrate the character and history of this building.

Architect’s insight—

Our design enables the original function and form of the building to be celebrated and be a central component of the visitor’s experience. Later addition modifications such as internal linings and lowered ceilings will be removed to expose the original features of the building.