Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

 

For a country that has more than 400 words to describe snow and the nation’s favourite word is ‘driech’ (meaning dull and miserable weather), it probably comes as somewhat of a surprise that the architects Gryzwinski+Pons chose a tropical theme to fit out the interior of Eden Locke, a 72 room hotel in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh.

One at first might have thought the approach a little odd. After all, who comes up with a tropical theme in a country where the dismal weather is part of the charm? But the architects were firm in their resolve wanting to deliberately contrast between the austere, stone facade of the Georgian mansion and the interior.

“Our intention was that the tension between the severe and stony building fabric and the verdant interior would foster measured incongruity where one exalts the other,” said the architects.

They completely gutted and renovated the building, originally an 18th century Georgian mansion with a 20th century addition. Dividing the building sectionally enabled them to create rooms that spanned both the generous Georgian volume and the tighter spaces of the 20th century addition. The lofty ceilings naturally led them to allocate the areas to the public spaces. Whereas the bedrooms and circulation spaces were designated to the more intimate, confined areas of the plan.

 

See more projects by Grzywinski+Pons on Yellowtrace.

 

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

 

The bentwood and cane chairs and much of the joinery were made specifically for the project. Teamed with the lush tropical plants the fit out is reminiscent of the Jamaican Georgian architecture movement, where furniture of cane and wicker and floors of terracotta were materials used to modify the elegance of the British Georgian period to suit the country’s tropical climatic. But the pale green walls are in simpatico with the Georgian period and they’ve kept all the existing heritage details. The colour palette is for the most part neutral but it’s not cold. Elements of brass, the occasional pop of colour like the daffodil yellow doors against the slate grey, weatherboard interior walls gives it a lively tone. It’s a bright and happy place to be.

And it’s light. Wonderfully light. And that’s a surprise given the rows of Georgian terraces and mansion fronting George Street are clad in local grey sandstone, which are imposing and dark if not beautiful. So to describe the interior as bing sympathetic to it’s Georgian roots whilst also being light is somewhat of a misnomer. But Scotland is known for it’s breathtaking natural light. And this light was the inspiration behind the tropical theme. Not a mad dash to escape the rain at all.

 

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

 

“We amplified the visual warmth of the long Scottish light with an approach that leaned towards the sophisticatedly tropical,” noted the architects.

Paying particular attention to the thresholds was an important aspect of the design, transitioning between both the exterior and interior as well as the different eras. Glazed fanlights and wrought iron are framed by glass, timber and stone vestibules.

In areas the hotel feels distinctly French. In others it feels Georgian. It yet others again it feels very modern and contemporary. It feels part 70’s revival and part Havana Social Club as though you’re sipping a caipirinha sitting in Cuba rather than Edinburgh. Whilst that may sound eclectic, and it probably is, it works.

If they were hoping to provide an incongruous space, somewhere between the sombreness of this historic site and a cheerful, tropical interior, it has been successfully achieved.

 

See more projects by Grzywinski+Pons on Yellowtrace.

 


[Images courtesy of Grzywinski+Pons. Photography by Nicholas Worley.]

 

About The Author

Susanna McArdle
Contributor

Susanna has a background in Interior Architecture and a passion for writing. Based in Sydney, she has worked both in Asia and Australia designing. An avid writer, it’s hard to know what she prefers more, stringing words together or creating spaces. But one thing she does know, is that she loves doing the both together.

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