109 to 112 Princes Street Edinburgh, Nuveen Real Estate Development, Scottish Retail Buildings, Architecture

St James Quarter Edinburgh Development

18 August 2021

Architects: BDP Glasgow studio + Allan Murray Architects

Location: central Edinburgh, Scotland

BDP helps deliver changing shape of retail as part of new mixed use destination

St James Quarter Edinburgh retail

St James Quarter Edinburgh News

BDP has helped complete the delivery of phase one of the new St James Quarter, Edinburgh, working with client Nuveen Real Estate to create a new destination in the heart of the capital. A new and modern 1.7 million sq ft masterplan in urban placemaking, it is one of the UK’s largest inner-city regeneration projects.

BDP’s Glasgow studio, which worked alongside Allan Murray Architects in the design stage, saw its role develop from co-designer to lead consultant and technical architect for the design of the scheme, and delivered the master plan as part of the Laing O’Rourke construction team for the £1billion development. Works started on site with the demolition of the existing shopping centre, office block, hotel, and car park, in 2016 with the retail-led development seeing shoppers flock to its curved four-storey galleria since its opening in June.

St James Quarter Edinburgh masterplan

Designed with movement of people in mind, St James Quarter is a highly accessible, permeable development with multiple entry points situated at different levels. The brief from the outset was to create a step change from typical retail developments and to incorporate various uses on the site that would deliver a sustainable model for development in the historic town centre.

The design makes use of the surrounding inner-city topography, integrating with Edinburgh’s busy shopping areas and encouraging visitors to weave their way through the city. The commercial benefits to creating this organic flow of people through St James Quarter is a boosted footfall that is presented with unexpected opportunities to shop, or to dine, resulting in increased dwell time helping businesses to thrive.

St James Quarter Edinburgh Scotland

Oliver Wilson, BDP Architect Director, said, “St James Quarter is Edinburgh’s largest development in a generation and creates a distinct area in the Scottish capital. Incorporating new and existing development, it transforms Edinburgh’s retail offering delivering an enriched social experience and creating a lifestyle destination which people will repeatedly revisit.”

“Consumers are faced with a myriad of options when it comes to their leisure time and they want to spend it in a well designed, engaging and accessible place that offers them everything they want, and not simply a place to shop. Destinations need to make more efficient use of the space and work harder to meet consumers’ needs and St James Quarter does this by presenting a truly unique offer.”

St James Quarter Edinburgh retail buildings

The BDP team is now working to complete the shell and core works to the remaining phases of the development in advance of them being fitted out, which include a cinema, hotel and aparthotel, and a high-profile residential element occupying the upper level of the galleria. The apartments offer a truly special place to live in the heart of the city with an extensive roof garden and take advantage of the spectacular views across the city and out towards the Firth of Forth.

Work on further phases will see the completion of entertainment, residential, and hotel accommodation as part of the £1bn scheme.


BDP is an international interdisciplinary practice of architects, engineers, designers, and urbanists. We work closely with users, clients, and the community to create special places for living, working, shopping, culture, and learning across the world. Founded in 1961, we now have studios across the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, UAE, India, China, Singapore, and Canada. BDP has a leading track record in all major sectors including health, education, workplace, retail, urbanism, heritage, housing, transport, and leisure, and has won over 1000 awards for design quality.

In March 2016, BDP combined forces with Japan’s leading engineering practice Nippon Koei to form an integrated design group of genuine international reach. Sharing a philosophy that places an emphasis on design integration and community impact, the new group offers a unique combination of deep technical skills in engineering, architecture, and the full range of design disciplines.

BDP – UK architecture practice

St James Quarter Edinburgh Retail images / information from received 180821 from BDP Architects

St James Quarter
The retail centre opened on 24 June 2021 and contains around 850,000 square feet of retail space:
St James Quarter Building

Location: Edinburgh, south east Scotland, UK

Scottish Buildings

Scottish Architecture Designs – chronological list

Scottish Buildings News

Edinburgh Architecture Designs – chronological list

Contemporary Architecture in Scotland – architectural selection below:

Literature House for Scotland, John Knox House, Edinburgh
Winning Architects: Witherford Watson Mann ; Groves-Raines Architects Studios ; Studio MB
John Knox House Edinburgh building
photograph © Daniel Lomholt-Welch
Literature House for Scotland

V&A at Dundee
V&A Dundee

New Macallan Distillery, Speyside, Northern Scotland
Design: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP)
New Macallan Distillery building on Speyside interior lighting
photo © Speirs + Major
New Macallan Distillery Building

Charnock Bradley Building, Easter Bush, Midlothian
Design: Atkins
Innovation Centre and Campus Hub at Edinburgh University
image Courtesy architecture office
Charnock Bradley Building Roslin

Futures Institute for the University of Edinburgh
Design: Bennetts Associates
Edinburgh Futures Institute Building

Scottish Architecture

BDP Architects

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