Roxburgh’s Court Art Project Goes On Display

roxburgh art competition

More than thirty design students from the Edinburgh College of Art have entered a competition to turn Roxburgh’s Court, just off the Royal Mile, into a ‘destination’.

The small square located between Roxburgh’s and Warriston’s Closes now forms the hub of an award winning development that is breathing new life into the Old Town’s medieval alleyways.

The designs put forward aim to draw people through this historic part of the city and all nine entries are to be displayed at The Devil’s Advocate (Advocate’s Close) and at Zizzi (Roxburgh’s Court) as well as online ( so that the local community can have its say on which it likes best from Wednesday 1st October, 2014.

The Roxburgh’s Court Art Project was the brainchild of The Chris Stewart Group, which has been responsible for the transformation of the area. The once neglected closes are now home to the Old Town Chambers luxury serviced apartments, new restaurants, bars and three offices. Working with ECA and The City of Edinburgh Council, it challenged the students to create a destination that would appeal to both tourists and local residents, that was practical and dynamic.

From the nine entries, a shortlist has been drawn up and a winner will be chosen by a panel of judges comprising of Chris Stewart, CEO of The Chris Stewart Group, Guy Morgan of Morgan McDonnell Architecture Ltd and David Hicks of Edinburgh World Heritage. The winning design will then be assessed for funding and its potential Chris Stewart said:

“The range of ideas was impressive and it was interesting to see how they tackled the brief. We have our favourites, but we are also keen to get the views of others and so have exhibited the entries and put them online for people to see.

“The Old Town closes and lanes evoke so much of the city’s history and character, the project is intended to involve more people in their modern regeneration and usage. The area between Advocate’s Close and Warriston’s Close is now very much a vibrant part of the city’s tourist and business life, it is important that more people get to enjoy them.”

Douglas Bryden of ECA added:  “The design brief set by The Chris Stewart Group provided a great opportunity for Product Design students to learn more about one-off site-specific design. We challenged the students to research, design, and finalise an installation design concept for the site at Roxburgh’s Court within a day. The students responded incredibly well, working intensively to explore a variety of creative approaches to change Roxburgh’s Court and the adjacent closes into an interesting destination for both tourists and local residents. The students are very excited about the potential for the winning design concept to be evaluated and developed for fabrication and installation at Roxburgh’s Court.”

Councillor Ian Perry Convener of the Planning Committee, said: “This is an exciting project and I look forward to seeing the designs on display. Creating spaces for both residents and visitors to enjoy is one of the strands of the Royal Mile Project and is particularly important in helping to make best use of all the historic closes.

The project is an excellent example of the private sector taking a collaborative and creative approach to develop proposals that will benefit everyone using this area of the city.”

The entries are:

• Night Guide by Sebastian Sticzay and Charlie Wetheril

• SkyWalker by Emily Annand, Sophie Butchart, Ziyuan Xia and James Amour,

• AquaVitae by James Ciclitira, Jake Simpson, Tereza Astilean and Zoe Grant

• Selfie Sculpture by Dimitri Hadjichristou, Nicola Saunders, Kirsty Simpson and Katy Lobban

• Pinpressions by Alice Kettle, Tom Macfarlane, Shelley Lucas and Sarah Mcleod

• Paper Trail by Octavia Coutts, Isobel Williams, Ke Shin Lim and Katherine Snow

• Wave Light by Hai Yan Fu, Sorcha Sutherland, Mo Airnes and Lawrence Gearty

• Tree of Light by Toby Starr, David Mahoney and Glenn Masterton

• What Goes Up by Sarah Bushell, Darren Shek, Jessica Gregory and Catrinel Sabaciag

The entries can be viewed at: Devil’s Advocate and online at

Twitter #roxcourtartproject

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  1. Profile pic

    Editor, October 1, 2014 2:36 pm - Roxburgh’s Court Art Project Goes On Display

    1. The Chris Stewart Group is a property development and investment business based in Edinburgh. Its current portfolio includes interests across residential, office and hotel and leisure property.

    2. The company’s expertise for complex, transformational city centre developments
    was recently endorsed by Proprium Capital Partners which has become an
    investment partner.

    3. Set up in 1996, by Chris Stewart, and remains an independent, privately owned business

       -   Reply

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