The scope and challenge:
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, 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.
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 the 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.
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 resolved, 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 samples 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.”
Contact Hafele UK Ltd by clicking the button below to find out which products were used in this case study.
Häfele UK Wombats Youth Hostel Project
Maggies Caring Centre - West London
St. Mary's Church Selby - N. Yorkshire
The Moon Resort