#eye #eye


The Royal

Collaborators: Ray Mills (Forres Heritage Trust), Marianne McInnes (Glasgow School of Art) & Dr Aude Campbell Le Guennec (Glasgow School of Art), Suraj P Suresh & Shashank Gedala

My Role: Design Researcher

Duration: 4 weeks


This project is in collaboration with The Glasgow School of Art & The Forres Heritage Trust.

What captivated me most was how the building, originally designed to host people from diverse backgrounds, remained dedicated to its core purpose despite changing ownership. From its days as a hotel to serving as a homeless shelter and eventually becoming a haven for students worldwide, the building has preserved its essence as a place of refuge and learning.

Research Methodology

Historic Research Methodology

Data collection:

1. Oral history interviews with previous owners

2. Archival research

3. Examined the building documents and Moray Council's archives

4. Historic photos

To make sense of the vast amount of collected data, a chronological sequence was established, allowing for a clear organization and understanding of the building's progression over time. This chronological framework became essential in uncovering patterns, connections, and historical significance.

Throughout the research process, it became evident that the final outcome should be visually compelling, serving as a representation of the building's transformative journey, its evolution, and the rich tapestry of its history, heritage, and culture.

A micro film reader (Elgin Library)

George Washington Wilson’s photograph of The Royal Hotel, Forres (1880)


The trainline infront of the hotel, currently a highway (1965)



The Beatles, also had an eventful stay at the Royal Hotel, Forres. However, their experience was quite distinct, perhaps due to undisclosed circumstances. Exploring the events of 1960 during their stay is a fascinating story that shouldn’t be missed. 

Every aspect, from research, collecting photographic evidences, typography size to spacing was meticulously considered. This masterpiece was unveiled at the esteemed local exhibition held within the historic walls of the Forres Tolbooth.

We even gave Carole Stewart daughter of Jimmy Stewart (former owner of The Royal) a copy of the poster.

Img (L-R): Carole Stewart and her cousin signing the poster, the timeline at various history exhibitions by the Forres Heritage Trust

This timeline chart serves as a captivating narrative, skillfully designed to celebrate the legacy and heritage of the historic building.

It intertwines aesthetics and storytelling providing an immersive journey that educates, captivates, and leaves a lasting impression on the reader as they explore the remarkable history of this architectural treasure.