Restoration project

Architect unveils plans to revive Jenners store

Jenners’ Grand Saloon will be restored under the latest proposal (pic: David Chipperfield Architects)

Plans to revive the famous Jenners department store in Edinburgh have been unveiled by David Chipperfield Architects.

Backed by Danish retail billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen, who bought the Princes Street building in 2017, the aim is to recreate its style and grandeur.

The category A building was designed by William Hamilton Beattie and has been described as ‘the Harrods of the North’. Jenners was in the ownership of Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group when it was closed in May 2020.

David Chipperfield Architects, which is working with 3DReid and Glasgow-based conservation specialist Loader Montieth, has submitted plans that would turn a part of the building into a 96-bedroom boutique hotel, together with a bar and restaurant, above a number of retail units.

Jenners sign
Faded glory: Jenners remains empty (pic: Terry Murden)

The project, backed by Povlsen’s property company AAA United, includes restoring the façade, revamping and part re-modelling the linked 1960s Princes Street building, adding a new floor, frontage and roof terrace to 10-14 Rose Street and a single-storey roof extension to the 1895 and 1903 buildings.

It is proposed that the three-storey, top-lit grand saloon at the heart of the Victorian Renaissance Revival style will be ‘restored to its former splendour as a unique public space that is integral to both the department store and hotel’.

Founded in 1838, Jenners is one of the oldest department stores in the world to continuously trade from the same site. The current building was erected in 1895 following a fire.

In a design and access statement lodged with Edinburgh City Council, AAA United director Anders Krogh said: ‘When we acquired the Jenners building, we knew that it came with a great deal of responsibility.

The way we were: the original store’s interior

“It is iconic within Edinburgh’s built environment and integral to the city’s cultural heritage. We approach this renovation with upmost respect for the historic importance and value placed upon the building by the people of Edinburgh.

“We understand the scale of the challenge and are fully dedicated to honouring this building and its place within the future of Edinburgh.

“The original Jenners building will always stay and is the very DNA of our plans, with the redevelopment of a vibrant, sustainable and accessible department store being the heart of the project. Our major focus is to bring back a fully refurbished department store, supplemented by a food and beverage and hospitality offering.”

Project team

Client AAA United A/S
Project manager Redside Property Company
Principal architect David Chipperfield Architects
Executive architect 3DReid
Structural engineer Etive Consulting Engineers
MEP & sustainability Rybka
Fire engineer OFR Fire + Risk Consultants
Conservation architect Loader Monteith Architects
Planning and heritage Turley
Cost manager Gardiner & Theobald
Specialist lighting Light Bureau
Principal designer Gardner & Theobald
Acoustic consultant Sandy Brown
Sustainability advisor Henry Luker
Transport consultant Transplanworld
Client property agent Harper Dennis Hobbs
Hotel consultant PKF Hotel expert

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