Virtual Doors Open Day reveals city landmark

Previously unseen images of one of the capital’s most loved buildings will be revealed this weekend.

The Old Royal Infirmary, currently undergoing renovations as it prepares to house the University’s Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI), will feature in a new online tour that uncovers its past and explains its future.

The tour is part of the annual Doors Open Days event, which is taking place online this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

EFI Clocktower

Major refurbishment

The Lauriston Place site housed Edinburgh’s main hospital from 1879, before the new Royal Infirmary opened at Little France in 2003.

Once its £120m refurbishment is complete, the building will be home to EFI, a new centre bringing together academics across the arts, the humanities and the sciences alongside sector-leading work in data science.

As well as a new public piazza, the space will include teaching facilities, collaboration spaces for working with industry partners, incubation areas for start-up businesses, labs for innovation and prototyping, and exhibition and performance spaces. 

As an iconic building with a unique past, the renovation and renewal of the former Royal Infirmary is being carried out with care and sensitivity. We hope to create a special relationship between the environment that is being created in the building and the ambition of the Edinburgh Futures Institute – open, inclusive and transformational. Alongside some wonderful images of the past, this online tour provides a delightful glimpse of what the future holds.

Professor Lesley McAraDirector of the Edinburgh Futures Institute

Open doors

Several other University buildings will available to view online via virtual and video tours.

These include King's Buildings, McEwan Hall, the MRC Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine, St Cecilia’s Hall, Talbot Rice Gallery, the Anatomical Museum, and the Bayes Centre.

Doors Open Day is organized by the Cockburn Association and gives the public an opportunity to take a free behind-the-scenes peek at buildings of architectural, cultural or social interest.

Related links

Take the online tour of the EFI

All University virtual tours

Edinburgh & East Lothian Doors Open Day

The Cockburn Association


(Image credit: Bennetts Associates)