• Client: Nuveen

  • Architect: Allan Murray Architects / Optimised Environments Ltd (OPEN) - Landscape

  • Duration: Complete

  • Location: Edinburgh

  • Scoutmoor Sandstone
  • Kobra Granite
  • Mist Granite
  • Proteus Granite
  • Galatea Granite
  • Scottish Whin Quartz Dolerite
  • Caithness Slate
  • Roriz Granite
  • Jura Limestone
  • Black Absolute Granite
  • Lanhelin Granite
  • Muschelkalk Limestone
  • Cloudy Violet Granite
  • Peakmoor Sandstone
  • Classic Granite
  • 36,000m² of hard landscaping
  • 3,000m² natural stone cladding
  • 114no GRC panels

Vetter UK were engaged to deliver the design, supply and installation of both the natural stone and GRC cladding to the Galleria and external façade elevations, as well as the internal and external hard landscaping package. In addition to the main St James Quarter, the surrounding public streets and spaces were also redeveloped and improved with revised layouts including cycle routes.

Natural stone plays a pivotal role across this development, with a simple palette of mixed granite used throughout for the hard landscaping works.

Technical challenges included:

  • Overcoming the multiple level changes throughout the development and tying these in with the adjacent properties and adjacent hard landscaping whilst maintaining the bedding layer/finishes zones
  • Manoeuvring large blocks of stones into place, specifically the seating blocks.
  • Working within a City Centre location with logistics, local residents, and occupants all requiring close liaison.
  • The implications of the Covid pandemic

Externally, the new public squares use a combination of granites and UK sourced Yorkstone.  As the development falls within the New Town of Edinburgh, it is also a part of the UNESCO Edinburgh World Heritage area and the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) have a defined palette of materials to ensure this culturally significant status is retained.

Internally, one of the most striking features are the 21no Jura clad columns that extend throughout the curved Galleria to the inner radius, these columns reaching up to 23.3metres in height, and each positioned to allow maximum visibility between the columns as you walk around the centre. Between each column the Jura cladding has also been used in a series of fascia units at each of the five floor levels.

Vetter UK were also challenged to find a solution to clad part of the existing John Lewis store with the same Jura stone which had a precast façade. To achieve the challenge a full height framework was designed, supported from a ground beam and tied back through the existing cladding to the structure behind, to which the 30m high Jura over-cladding was then supported and tied back to, with the result being that the existing structure was then hidden.

Whilst digital engineering had been used to enable most of the cladding panels to be produced off-site there was still an element of handset work required. Vetter UK installed both the natural stone kickers as well as granite stall risers and there were also several areas where cladding was installed by our team either due to the complexity of the panels or the restricted access to these panels. Several roof elevations included the installation of GRC panels.

The retail centre opened on 24th June 2021 and was officially opened by HRH Princess Royal on 29th September 2022.