04. Building

A fine example of Art Deco architecture

Exceptionally maintained detailing and integrity throughout the building.


Entering through the historic façade

The Capital Building is a Grade A listed building erected in 1938 and is characterised by its prominent corner site and imposing Art Deco façade. It offers magnificent views north over the Square to the Firth, Forth and Leith Harbour and south to Edinburgh Castle. The ground level is zoned for restaurant use with offices occupying the upper floors, which are accessed through a representative entrance lobby featuring an ornate Art Deco stairwell with two lifts on either side.

A part of St Andrew Square's landscape

Architects Leslie Grahame Thomson and Frank J Connell were commissioned by Caledonian Insurance Company to design a new headquarters that reflected the values and aspirations of its owner, these being security and progress. Because of its prominent location in St Andrew Square, the architects were especially mindful of the building’s legacy throughout the design process. “Here, the modes and traditions of the past are heavily entrenched as classic and conservative traditions have prevailed for generations. Yet present-day necessities must be frankly considered at the same time reflecting gradual advances in architecture without repeating outworn motifs. Contingencies for the future must be planned.”

Today, the Capital Building is fully equipped with the infrastructure and amenities suitable for modern companies with original detailing and finishes.

Design highlights

  • Corner principle entrance on diagonal axis at St Andrew Square and George Street
  • Principal entrance flanked by marble columns with two bronze statues by Alexander Carrick
  • Polished black granite façade at street level with distinct Art Deco arcade windows
  • Representative entrance hall with central imperial staircase supported by marble columns
  • Exquisite stained-glass windows in the main stairwell designed by William Wilson representing various commercial undertakings
  • Roof-lit rotunda behind the main staircase with ample natural light
  • L-shaped unit layouts for optimal natural light exposure
  • Uninterrupted window space on the 5th floor with panoramic views
  • Various wood detailing including Australian black bean, bird’s-eye maple and Indian silver greywood panelling

Current tenants

  • Amarone
  • Experis
  • Hambros Bank
  • PTS Consulting
  • Psigma Investment Management
  • Santander Bank
  • Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP