Architects appointed for £300m scheme

Foster + Partners to design Haymarket masterplan

Paul Curran

Paul Curran and a model of the completed Quartermile development (pic: Terry Murden)


M&G Real Estate has appointed Foster + Partners to design the masterplan for its £300 million Haymarket mixed-use development in Edinburgh.

Development of the four-acre former railway goods yard is expected to get under way after years delays. It currently has planning permission for three Grade A office buildings totalling 350,000 sq ft, a 190-room hotel and a 172-room aparthotel. It also has provision for 40,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space.

Foster + Partners had been strong contenders for the design once QMile Group was appointed as developer as they worked together, along with landowner M&G Real Estate on the £750m Quartermile mixed-use development on the site of former Royal Infirmary on the south side. 

Last year, Foster + Partners won the RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture for its design of Bloomberg’s European HQ in London, winning best building in the UK – the third time the practice has won the accolade.

Commenting on the appointment, M&G Real Estate’s director of asset management, Aaron Pope, said: “We know from experience that Foster + Partners is a truly world class organisation.

“Our success of working with Foster + Partners and Qmile Group on Quartermile, and their continued commitment to providing an innovative, modern and sustainable approach to placemaking, will be key for Haymarket. 

Haymarket 1 birds eye

Earlier plans for the development envisaged a series of office blocks and a new community


“Working with Foster + Partners and Qmile Group we will develop a revised masterplan using the very latest thinking in design, materials and sustainability practices to enhance the impact of the development in this prime location. 

“Haymarket will provide Edinburgh with a vibrant place to work, rest and socialise, which we believe will set new standards nationally and internationally. We look forward to revealing our plans for the site over the coming months.” 

The Haymarket site, next to the mainline train station, tram and bus connections, is well-placed for connecting with the city’s commercial west end. Despite its location, it has been neglected for more than half a century and was latterly used as an undeveloped car park. 

Foster + Partners’ partner, Ian Whitby, added: “We are very pleased to be continuing our long and successful relationship with M&G Real Estate and Qmile Group with this latest appointment.

“As with Quartermile, Haymarket is a high-profile development and one which will further significantly enhance the fabric of the city, both commercially and socially. Our work on the masterplan is underway, and we are excited about the opportunities the development will provide for Edinburgh.”

M&G Real Estate acquired the Haymarket site in June last year for £49.1m and appointed Qmile Group to deliver the development. 

M&G Real Estate provided £82 million to fund the speculative development of the two Grade A office buildings at Quartermile: the six-storey, 72,991 sq ft Quartermile 3 and the seven-storey, 128,600 sq ft Quartermile 4 in one of Scotland’s largest forward funding deals.

The buildings are now home to global financial services business State Street Bank, audio chip designer Cirrus Logic and Canadian fund manager BMO Global Asset Management, part of Bank of Montreal. 

Qmile Group chief executive, Paul Curran, said: “The appointment of Foster + Partners brings together an unrivalled team with the knowledge and expertise to fund, design and deliver what is a key development for the City of Edinburgh. 

“This will provide the confidence that we are now going to deliver a very special place at Haymarket by providing much needed Grade A city centre office space, hotel accommodation, and retail/leisure provision.”

See also:

Full archive on Haymarket development

QMile Group partners M&G


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