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Hawksmoor opens a restaurant in an Edinburgh banking hall

Macaulay Sinclair has converted a 1930s banking hall in Edinburgh into a restaurant for London steakhouse Hawksmoor that retains many of the original building’s Neoclassical features.

The 160-cover restaurant occupies a vast hall on the ground floor of a Grade A-listed building, which was once the Royal Bank of Scotland’s global headquarters.

Photography: John Carey

The building was unoccupied for several years before local developer Lateral City began an adaptive reuse project that provides 50 serviced apartments, alongside the restaurant and a bar on the fourth floor.

Macaulay Sinclair’s design seeks to preserve the character of the impressively proportioned space, which was influenced by the Neoclassical styling of early 20th-century American banking halls.

Photography: John Carey

The designers sourced reclaimed furniture and parquet flooring to complement the room’s original features, which include repurposed doors that were updated with reclaimed brass ironmongery.

The hall’s eight-metre-high coffered ceiling is supported by restored limestone columns, both of which can now be viewed up close from a new mezzanine level.

Carefully sourced lighting from a Dutch Art Deco hotel introduces an authentic 1930s feel to the space, while tables made from old school laboratory countertops introduce a further layer of patina and heritage to the restored interior.

Read next: This apartment is a calming sanctuary beneath Edinburgh Castle

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