Filmhouse is working with award-winning Edinburgh based Richard Murphy Architects on this project. Below you will find architect drawings and visualisations for the proposed new Filmhouse. These images give you a good idea of  our  thinking on the  position and shape of the building and the spaces  it would contain, however the  design is still in development.  



We  have established a set of design principles based on our core values and  have confirmed the main spaces required in the building; however, the layout, interior and exterior design, and outdoor landscaping are still a work in progress and we will use comments from this consultation process to shape the final design. 

Key design principles: 

  • The building must provide the quantity and quality of spaces needed by Filmhouse and  Edinburgh International Film Festival to achieve our ambitions and operate sustainably year-round. 

  • In line with our core value of inclusion, all public and work spaces must be fully accessible. 

  • To support our strategies to address the climate emergency, we’re aiming to ensure that the operation of the building is as close to carbon neutral as it can be.

  • The outdoor landscaping must maximise the potential of the public space, be fully accessible, encourage sustainable transport use and create a welcoming and inspiring environment for all. 

The new building will include: 

  • Six new cinemas of varying sizes to suit a wide range of programming needs, doubling our audience capacity from 449 seats to 900 seats, which can screen film in 4K digital, 16mm, 35mm and 70mm formats.  

  • Dedicated education spaces to support an expansion of our year-round education, learning and outreach programmes and be available to partner organisations for their education programmes.  

  • A new Festival Centre, a flexible auditorium providing the perfect venue for lectures and special events less suited to cinema spaces.  

  • Filmhouse’s popular Café Bar with additional breakout and outdoor seating options.   

  • A new Cultural Industries hub, providing much needed temporary and long-term workspace for individuals and organisations in the film and wider cultural sector, helping to establish Filmhouse as a vibrant and productive creative hub.  

  • Fully accessible offices and workspaces with the capacity to accommodate all of the Filmhouse and EIFF teams.  

  • A new top-floor restaurant and rooftop event space with views of Edinburgh Castle.    



As we’ve not been able to have in-person conversations, our team have been busy recording some videos from home to help explain more about the principles that are guiding this project:

More videos will be added in due course








NEXT: Process and Timescales