A Fringe of Inspiration

JS+P were initially appointed to undertake a feasibility study for the recently acquired 16-18 Potterrow by Curlew Capital. The development had begun operating before a fit-out of the ground floor had been undertaken by the previous owner, resulting in a temporary reception area that was not performing properly and a poor arrival experience. The social amenity space lacked identity and purpose and was underused.

We began by undertaking a detailed briefing and feasibility study with both the client and the operator, to establish the challenges and opportunities which would help to inform a design response. It was clear the ground floor had to meet a variety of requirements and serve a number of functions, from the provision of space for staff, through to an engaging space in which the residents could relax, study and feel at home.

This was ultimately achieved by introducing a space-efficient front of house reception and compact office with workspace for two members of staff. Alongside this a dedicated study lounge and a flexible social space for residents that includes a TV lounge and a games zone. By opening up the glazing onto street level, we also helped create an environment in which people could see and be seen, connecting residents back to the city.

“Working to tight timescales, we were confident JS+P would be able to help with this project and we weren’t disappointed. We’ve now have a really strong asset in Potterrow, one that exceeds expectations as a student living development, but one that also provides an attractive accommodation offer for Fringe Festival goers during the summer”.

Sector | Residential

Completion | 2016

Client | Curlew Capital

We took inspiration from the building’s prime location in central Edinburgh, on the famous Potterrow, home to the city’s world-famous Fringe Festival. Using culture, comedy and theatre as our cue, we created a new visual identity with a light hearted yet mature palette of materials and graphics that references the festival. From the deep, rich colours to the lighting design, everything about the space reflects the stage and theatre experience, providing users with a strong sense of identity, playfulness and fun.

The result is a building that has been transformed from a soulless asset into a place with purpose and vibrancy. Now, it operates not only as a comfortable and exciting home for students from around the world to live during term time, it also provides an opportunity for additional revenue to be created out of term time during the summer months for tourists and Fringe Festival goers.

Behind the Scenes