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The Principal Edinburgh George Street

Posted by Gavriil Papadiotis on 6 Jul 2017

The Principal Edinburgh on George Street has been welcoming hotel guests since 1881. Following its acquisition by hotel specialist investment group Starwood Capital, we were invited to design the lighting for the exterior façade and the hotel’s public areas. Working closely with interior architects Goddard Littlefair and architects 3D Reid we integrated our lighting within the building’s listed envelope where possible and into the bespoke joinery and decorative luminaires. See below for some of our favourites shots.

Started from the hotel’s listed façade key architectural features were subtly highlighted using surface mounted spotlights, floor recessed uplights and linear LED profiles

All visible luminaires were custom RAL painted to match the façade’s stone finish to ensure that they “blend in” as much as possible.

 Looking back at the original visualisation used to get both the client’s sign-off and planning approval we are very pleased with how close the end result is to our design intention.

For the hotel’s new Reception we used custom decorative lighting fixtures to give the space a more residential and welcoming feeling. Mini spotlights were integrated into the chandeliers, linear LEDs were concealed within traditional looking picture lights and by recessing small uplights into the base of the columns we managed to illuminate the ceiling while highlighting the pillars’ ornamental nature.

The motive power of lighting is in the details

Next to the reception the new Burr & Co coffee shop has a more contemporary style. The timber shop front, designed by architects 3D Reid, has been illuminated using two miniature spotlights that pick up the two detailing of the centre pillars.

The glazed front offers views of the beautiful interiors where wall lights create the general ambience while narrow beam recessed downlights focus the lighting on the counters and the hanging display rack.

Linear LED has also been integrated within the joinery and countertop to accent the products on display while using bottle props we added a bit of sparkle at the windows in the back.

The new Printing Press Bar & Kitchen can be accessed either directly from the hotel or from the street’s revolving door entrance. Working within a Category A listed building meant that we could only use existing fixing locations to suspend decorative chandeliers. These were bespoke pieces where mini spotlights were integrated within the metal frame to accent the counter tops or tables below while a linear LED tape was used to softly uplight the ceiling.


Tunable white dimmable LED retrofit lamps have been used within the opaque glass wall lights hard wired table lamps to replicate the warming up effect of a halogen bulb when dimmed while saving energy. A linear LED has also been detailed behind the perimeter banquette seating to uplight the timber panelling and antique bronze mirror framework. Candles are then added to set the mood during dinner

One level up and behind the bar area the new restaurant follows a similar style. Two main pendants, again with mini spotlights and linear LED integrated within their design, are the main lighting focal points. More intimate dining areas have been created on both sides by using tall glass screens. By detailing linear LEDs to edge light the ribbed glass we brought up their intricate design. These also help with bringing in more ambient lighting during the day to compensate for the limited amount of daylight.

The bar in the middle consists of oak joinery with black metal and brass gantries. Concealed linear LED uplights the bottle displays while mini downlights accent the displays of glasses and counter top. The timber panelling at the bar front has been illuminated using mini spotlights which also highlights the metal footrail.