Location

The Ellei Studio is located in Edinburgh’s beautiful city centre, in a part of town that was built over 200 years ago known as the New Town. With its iconic Georgian architecture, the New Town was built between 1767 and 1850 and now forms part of Edinburgh’s city centre.

Prior to the creation of the New Town, Edinburgh’s residents lived in an area surrounding Edinburgh Castle that would ultimately come to be known as the Old Town. By the mid-1700's the overcrowding in the Old Town had reached a breaking point and in January 1766 a competition was held for a proposal for the layout and design of a new suburb that would form a new part of the city and ultimately remain known as the New Town for over 200 years.

Drafted for the city planning committee in 1768 by James Craig via via Wikimedia Commons | Attribution: http://www.geographicus.com/mm5/cartographers/jcraig.txt, Public domain.
 

A striking design by 26-year-old James Craig, won the competition and served as the starting point for the construction of the new suburb. Craig’s simple combination of an axial grid with gardens would go on to be echoed throughout much of the remaining development of the New Town creating an elegant city centre rich in green space.

The New Town become a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995, receiving formal recognition for its cultural and historical significance. A walk through its beautiful streets still remains one of the city’s most alluring attractions and, alongside the Old Town, makes the most significant architectural, historic and cultural contribution to Scotland’s capital.

Building

Our studio is located on the first floor of a former church congregational hall and offices built for the United Presbyterian Church in 1878. It is one of Edinburgh’s ‘listed’ buildings recorded as being ‘of special architectural or historical interest’. 

The building is a lovely example of late 19th century Renaissance style architecture. Because it remained in the care of the Church across the centuries, it has retained all of its original internal and external architectural and decorative features. These include the large arched sash and case windows, with their original handblown glass, as well as the beautiful and intricate decorative cornice. Both of these architectural elements served as the main inspiration for the Ellei Home logo.

The first floor of the congregation hall and offices remained in use until 2011, serving as a classroom and session rooms. Small clues discovered throughout the space indicate that our studio’s workroom, with its four large windows, was historically used as a classroom.

The building is simple yet striking and this juxtaposition of plain simplicity with the impressive open space and large windows that let in an abundance of natural light made it the perfect space for our studio. 




Our Logo

Throughout history, symbolism and ornament have gone hand in hand and many traditional decorative elements were used not only to decorate but also to convey meaning.

The Ellei Home logo draws inspiration from the rich and unique history of our beautiful studio space. Formerly a classroom and session room that belonged to the United Presbyterian Church, the rooms have retained all of their original ornamental details include the beautiful plaster cornice which has been unusually well preserved for a building of this age.

When we took over the space, we noticed that the intricate plasterwork of the former classroom had a small repeating figure in one element of the design. Upon closer examination, the figure appeared to be a small angel. Although we could not verify our assumption using the available historical documents, we like to think that the angel motif was intentionally selected for the classroom space where people would regularly gather.

This symbolic figure formed the basis of the design for our logo. The angel from within the cornice was surrounded by an oval cartouche. The oval was a commonly used shape in heraldry used to display the coat of arms of women. This historical meaning along with the visual appeal of the delicate round that echoed the design of the arched windows in our studio, combined to create our logo.

Logo and website design by The Denizen Co.