Macaulay Sinclair’s design process for all of the Hawksmoor sites is to make each venue look as though it has always been there, rather than appearing brand new. To meet this approach, the grand Edinburgh site presented a different type of challenge compared with some of the spaces, which are home to previous Hawksmoor sites.
With such grand and character-filled existing spaces, the design derived from American banking halls. Great care has been taken by Macaulay Sinclair to show respect to the original building, incorporating or replicating original features throughout the 160-cover venue. The new private dining room is named after Glasgow born and famous glass artist Sadie McLellan, who designed the original decorative glazing.
As with all Hawksmoor sites, the design team has meticulously sourced reclaimed and vintage furniture, which adds a sense of establishment and authenticity. Original archive photos of the main entrance have been used to recreate moulding details and joinery throughout the new entrance lobby, in the wine room and around the kitchen pass. Images of the old banking hall have inspired the new cast iron staircase and balcony balustrade.
School laboratory tops made with iroko hardwood have history literally carved into them and are used as dining tables sitting above a salvaged parquet floor. Doors have been repurposed from the original building with reclaimed brass ironmongery. The lighting has been carefully selected, with light sourced from a Dutch Art Deco hotel and several bespoke fittings made with original Holophane glass sourced from America.
Limestone columns and panelling have been expertly renovated and can now be viewed up close from a newly created mezzanine, allowing guests to be very close to the high-level beams, which were inaccessible in the original building due to the 8m ceiling.