The complex and sensitive “SoCo” development lies within the heart of the Edinburgh world heritage site and Old Town Conservation Area. Following a devastating fire in 2002, this vital part of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town lay derelict for over ten years. It was within this context that ICA were approached to develop proposals incorporating a 259 bedroom hotel, a retail space on South Bridge, commercial uses on Cowgate, the re-establishment of Le Belle Angele jazz club and extensive external public realm space.
The architectural concept strategy and design resolution sought to unify the various elements of the extensive planning brief for the site and to listen to the voices of the key consultation parties, resulting in an approach that repaired this important urban site.
SoCo was successfully completed in January 2014, with the hotel and retail spaces opening their doors in February 2014. The Le Belle Angele nightclub opened shortly after in the summer of 2014.