TIAA Henderson Real Estate (TH Real Estate) has announced it has appointed London-based architecture and interior design practice, Jestico + Whiles, to design the luxury Edinburgh St James hotel - set to be the centrepiece of its £850m Edinburgh St James development.

Jestico + Whiles was instructed following a design competition that saw five international architecture firms present their visions for Edinburgh St James. The retail-led development will transform retailing and leisure within the Scottish capital and is due to complete in 2020, with work starting later this year.

London-based Jestico + Whiles has designed the hotel as a bundle of ‘coiled ribbons’, creating a free-flowing and bold building which will complement the development’s elegantly understated masterplan. The vision for the hotel includes a lofty bar, lounge and restaurant space boasting 360 degree panoramic views over the UNESCO world heritage city.

Edinburgh St James will deliver 750,000 square feet of prime retail space, including a multi-screen cinema and more than 30 dining destinations. This will help move Edinburgh further up the UK retail rankings, from 13th to seventh, and will support the city’s tourist industry which contributes an estimated £260m to Edinburgh’s economy each year.

“We are thrilled to have been selected by TH Real Estate to be part of one of the biggest and most exciting regeneration projects currently under way in the UK," says Heinz Richardson, director, Jestico + Whiles. “The contemporary design will be sympathetic to the surrounding World Heritage site and its history, providing a first class destination for Edinburgh at the heart of the city’s new retail quarter.”

“Jestico + Whiles has a well-deserved reputation for its excellent work on a number of prestigious hotel and leisure facilities throughout the world," says Martin Perry, director of development, TH Real Estate. The team demonstrated a thorough understanding and imagination for what we would like to achieve for Edinburgh St James which was reflected in their proposals.

“The final hotel design is likely to be influenced by the operator and given Edinburgh is continuing to prove a highly attractive destination with a growing tourist economy and strong finance market, we are encouraged by the response we have received from interested parties so far.”