Ten Hill Place

Out team at Occa Design

Julie Paterson

Studio Director

Ten Hill Place - an award-winning hotel that puts all its profits into advancing surgical standards and patient care may seem rather unusual, but dig a little deeper and all is revealed. This rather special hotel is owned and operated by The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh and is undergoing an extensive refurbishment and expansion with interior architecture & design services provided by Occa.

We’ve been working on the project since November 2016 and with less than 9 weeks to go on phase one we’re delighted and excited to see our vision coming together.

So, you’re probably asking:  What is the brief for a project like this? What is the role of the interior designer at this stage in the project?  What does a day on site entail for an interior designer?  Do they really have to wear hard hats and big boots on site? Well, the last one is an easy yes, but let’s start first of all with some background to the project itself…

scafold image

Ten Hill Place project on site

The team at Occa Design enjoy working on a variety of existing branded and unbranded hotel projects across the UK and Europe.  Whilst branded hotels offer the opportunity to create some truly fantastic spaces within the framework of a brand style, be it that of Hilton, Marriot or IHG, an unbranded hotel can offer the scope to create something truly distinct and unique.  That’s why, when we successfully pitched for the interior design works to the £8.5m expansion and refurbishment of the four-star Ten Hill Place Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland, we were delighted to be appointed to the design team.

Bar 3D visualisation - Ten Hill Place Hotel

3D Visualisation of the bar

Owned and operated by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Ten Hill Place is a four-star hotel that puts it's profits back into advancing surgical standards worldwide to improve patient outcomes.  With 77 existing bedrooms and relatively small public areas, the hotel is expanding into an adjoining building, doubling the size of the ground floor public areas and adding a further 52 bedrooms.

The RCSEd team wanted to create a high-end offering which would appeal to tourists but would also offer rest and relaxation to conference guests and the surgeons and medical personnel who use the hotel regularly.  The interior design concept would have relevance to the college and a strong sense of local identity without using the obvious surgical associations.

Our research established that the site of the hotel and adjacent Surgeons Hall had operated as a Riding School before the current Surgeons Hall building was opened in 1832.  Rich in heritage, local identity and the opportunity to create an elegant design solution this equestrian concept was welcomed by the client team.

Bedroom Concept Design - Ten Hill Place Hotel

bedroom concept mood-board

It’s often assumed that the role of an interior designer does not extend much beyond selecting finishes, furniture, and accessories, and of course, we do that very well!  However, our role extends far beyond that, from the internal space planning and interior architecture which ensures the smooth operation of the hotel.

We also design everything to do with the guest ‘journey’, that is to say the experience you have as a guest, from the sense of arrival to the ambiance created by the lighting throughout the day and evening and of course we specify or design all the materials, furniture and accessories which tell the story of the design concept.

If you’ve ever wondered who makes sure your dining chair is the perfect height for the table you’re sitting at, or who made sure the sockets in your bedroom are positioned in perfect reach of the bed, it’s us!  We are all over every detail!

Bedroom and Bar Design - Ten Hill Place Hotel

bar & bedroom design details

Nine weeks from completion those decisions on Ten Hill Place were all reached months, if not years ago.  Proposals have been made and approved by the client, contractors have knocked down walls, formed partitions, run services and wired electrics.  Wallcoverings are going up, lights are being installed, bathrooms tiled and carpets fitted.  Furniture orders are placed, bedroom casegoods are arriving on site and even the artwork is in manufacture.

Our visit this week was to walk the bedrooms, hard hats at the ready, with the Main Contractor and Architect to discuss any issues that are now arising at the point of installation.  With 52 rooms comprising 20 different room types, all formed within an existing building there are inevitably anomalies – some rooms are slightly shorter than others so socket positions need to be amended, a mysterious steel beam is forming a bulkhead just where the curtain pelmet needs to be in some rooms and there’s a query over how to finish the junction where a bath panel meets a vanity unit.

We also sit down with the contractor to run through a list of queries on ensuite accessories, discuss possible amendments to casegood quantities as a result of the anomalies mentioned above, and confirm finishes on contractor specified items such as Public WC cubicles. These details all require input and action from us as the interior designer to ensure the end products meets all the needs of the client and guest.

Occa Design on Site at Ten Hill Place Hotel

it couldn't come together if it wasn't for everyone on the team

As we push towards the finish line, our presence on site will increase to ensure we deliver a great project for Ten Hill Place and the client team.  Final design decisions and adjustments will be made, problems solved, and ongoing support given to the main contractor and client.  We’ll be there in the last days dressing, organising and arranging the hotel to its best ensuring that as the doors reopen the guest experience will be a fantastic one. We’ll be protective of our design, critical of any compromises and our snagging lists may be long, but we’ll also be excited, proud and pleased to be part of the great team that has created a unique and fabulous hotel.



Like this project? Why not browse the  3D visualisations we created for the Royal College for use in their pre-marketing campaigns..?

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