Extensive refurbishment programme at Saltire Court reaches completion

Saltire Court, the iconic office development in the heart of Edinburgh, has reached practical completion on an extensive refurbishment programme to update its communal areas.

Occupying a prominent location at 20 Castle Terrace, the building comprises over 180,000 sq ft of predominantly Grade A office accommodation across seven floors, as well as housing restaurant and lounge Dine and the Traverse Theatre. Currently, 2,320 sq ft of space is available on the ground floor, with larger open plan suites of 19,024 sq ft and 10,057 sq ft on the second and third floors respectively.

The refurbishment of the atria and lift lobbies was undertaken by asset management firm Advance RE Development Co. Ltd, part of a parent group headquartered in Dubai and established by Mr. Abdulaziz AlRashed, along with a comprehensive rebranding project to modernise the building in line with the latest workplace trends.

At the hub of Saltire Court is its five-story high entrance space, which has been transformed into a bright and modern concourse comprising twin atria and a stylish new reception area. The interior offers an architectural nod to the grandeur of Edinburgh Castle – visible through many of its windows – while crisp white walls, greenery, muted granite, and a combination of natural and luminous lighting aim to offer visitors a sense of wellbeing. Overhead walkways and internal windows on each floor give the impression of openness and connectivity between people – a concept which the renovation aims to capture.

Efficient reception managers will not only greet and assist tenants and visitors, they will also engage with nearby businesses and organisations to build mutually-beneficial relationships with the local community.

The second atrium to the rear of the building houses the Winter Garden, a calm internal area where tenants can go for a change of scenery – to take lunch and coffee breaks away from their desks and connect with other people and organisations based in the building, while enjoying a 5.5m wide by 3m high screen, thought to be the largest available to the public within an office building in the city. Saltire Court plans to use the Winter Garden as a hub for its own cultural programme of events, including screenings, art exhibitions and book launches.

Lift lobbies and break out areas throughout the building have been fully revitalised, with comfortable seating and soft lighting to provide places for employees to relax, hold informal meetings, and encourage casual networking.

On a practical level, the refurbishment has seen the installation of cycle racks in the basement which can accommodate up to 49 bikes, while those who cycle or run to work will also benefit from immaculate new shower facilities, heated changing rooms, a drying room for wet clothing, and 80 secure lockers.

As part of the rebrand, the landlord has also created a new tenant engagement portal which allows those who work in the building to keep up with the latest news and events as well as report any issues with facilities. The portal enables the landlord to monitor how quickly any issues within the building are being resolved.

Stewart Taylor at commercial property consultancy CBRE, which is marketing the building, said:
“A landmark in Edinburgh’s office market, Saltire Court is architecturally and geographically situated at the interchange of the city’s Old and New Towns. The refurbishment aims to reflect this, retaining the building’s unique internal features but breathing some new life into the communal areas to align them with the expectations of the next generation of office-workers. At the heart of the concept is the 21st century co-working and collaborative culture that we are increasingly seeing in the workplace, with spaces that allow for openness and connectivity between people and organisations a key element of the renovation.

“Instilling a sense of wellbeing is also at the forefront of the design, with spaces that are calm, comfortable and energising, while there is provision of first-class facilities for those cycling and running to work.

“Attracting and retaining staff is an ever-increasing concern, with high-quality workspace a key factor for many workers when considering a new employer. Saltire Court has a historically strong tenant retention rate, speaking to the quality of accommodation and service provided, however, the refurbishment means we are now further exceeding the requirements of occupiers, giving them an additional edge when it comes to attracting top talent.

“We are extremely happy with the results of the project and we anticipate great interest in the remaining suites on the back of the building’s new look and amenities.”

Current occupiers at Saltire Court include Deloitte LLP, CMS Edinburgh, Quilter Cheviot, KPMG LL, Close Brothers, Shoosmiths, Dunedin LLP and Martin Currie. The development is also located near Codebase, the UK’s largest technology incubator housing a diverse range of technology start-ups.

Saltire Court is marketed by CBRE and Savills.