Edinburgh hotel combining heritage and modern-day design achieves vision with Häfele ironmongery

Edinburgh hotel combining heritage and modern-day design achieves vision with Häfele ironmongery

Millions of people visit Edinburgh each year for its renowned history, iconic buildings and vibrant social scene. With year-round visitors from the rest of the UK and overseas – and tourism expected to surge following the Coronavirus pandemic – there is a growing need for accommodation that combines the heritage of the city with high-quality, comfortable stays.

Old Town Chambers offers exactly that, as a collection of luxury serviced apartments located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Each room showcases the building’s fascinating history in a globally-renowned part of the city, teamed with contemporary furnishings and distinctive architecture.

The original Old Town Chambers, a listed building from the mid-18th Century, is home to 50 high-quality apartments, accessed via Roxburgh Court, which sits just behind the Royal Mile.

In 2021, the owners of the hotel had the opportunity to refurbish the existing building and expand their footprint by taking over an adjoining address – 329 High Street – which would add 24 new high-end apartments to the property across three floors and a mezzanine level, as well as a street-level reception area, bar and restaurant.

Häfele was called upon by Chris Stewart Group, who were overseeing the refurbishment, to provide a suite of suitable door ironmongery for the apartments at 329 High Street. The schedule would need to complement both the new, modern apartments added to the hotel and the more traditional reception, bar and restaurant areas.

Ken Binnie, specification consultant for Häfele Projects, said:
“Old Town Chambers is a perfect blend of the old and the new; the 24 apartments added to the building might appear to be the stars of the show with duplexes and mezzanine floors, but equally incredible are the existing rooms and communal areas which have so much heritage, and offer visitors an authentic Edinburgh experience.”

“The ironmongery for the doors of the apartments had to be carefully selected to reflect the rooms’ individual character and modern feel, while the reception, bar and restaurant spaces – which look directly onto the historic Royal Mile – required more traditional hardware, of exceptional quality, to match the aesthetic of the existing building.”

Working closely with Chris Stewart Group and architects ISA, Häfele developed a tailored hardware schedule and specification. For the communal areas of the hotel, specialist Frank Allart handles were selected in a satin nickel finish to complement the traditional style of the space.

For the apartments, Häfele’s stainless steel mitred lever handle provided the perfect solution. Furthermore, given the complexity of the requirements, it made sense to utilise Häfele’s Häfele to Order service – which allows customers to order their products cut, labelled and delivered to their exact requirements. This included both phased floor-by-floor and door-by-door packaging to make the installation process as efficient as possible for contractors Thomas Johnstone Ltd.

Ken added: “Selecting products for a project is just one part of our job within Häfele Projects. We offer thorough consultancy with all partners involved in the development, to craft a bespoke scheme of ironmongery and complementary services that are tailored to budget and design priorities. This ensures the client can achieve their desired look and feel, hit their commercial objectives and have a positive experience in terms of delivery and installation.”

Karen Brown, head of interiors for Chris Stewart Group, worked closely with Ken on the 329 High Street project. She said:
“The attention to detail offered by Häfele Projects was excellent; ironmongery can be a minefield but Ken and the team listened to what we wanted and knew exactly what to apply to the project.”

“There were some intricacies to consider, which were met with experience and a knowledgeable approach. For example, some doors required a lever handle on one side but we were retaining the existing door knob on the other. Getting the two to marry was looking difficult and would’ve been an ongoing maintenance issue for the hotel if not resolve, but Ken suggested connecting them via a spindle which instantly resolved the matter.”

“We were able to meet and discuss our requirements in-depth, explore a huge range of sample and Häfele Projects were more than happy to liaise with the contractor direct to enable us to focus elsewhere. This project has really opened our eyes to what Häfele is capable of, and we’ve been able to consider other project ranges too which we intend to utilise on future developments, like lighting and small appliances.”

“We’re already working together with Häfele on another hotel project in Glasgow, and there is huge scope for where our partnership can go in the future.”

Visit hafele.co.uk/projects for more information on Häfele Projects 360 services.

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