55°56′46″N 3°11′17″W / 55.94611°N 3.18806°W / 55.94611; -3.18806

Potterrow Student Centre
Photo of Potterrow in 2018
Potterrow in 2018
Alternative namesPotterrow Mandela Centre
General information
TypeStudents' union building
AddressBristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL
OwnerUniversity of Edinburgh
Design and construction
Architecture firmMorris and Steedman

The Potterrow Mandela Centre or Potterrow Student Centre is operated by Edinburgh University Students' Association in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Site and architecture

The name "Potterrow" recalls a medieval suburb which stood outside the town walls. Its Victorian buildings and street layout disappeared when the university demolished the area for redevelopment in the mid-1960s.[1] With its distinctive large Plexiglas dome, the building was designed by architects Morris and Steedman and completed in 1973.[2] The centre was refurbished in 2012.[3]


Potterrow contains a variety of student entertainment and support services including a shop, a bank, two cafés, Edinburgh's largest nightclub, the university's Chaplaincy, The Advice Place, and the main EUSA offices.[4] In 1986, students voted to rename the centre in honour of imprisoned anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela.[5]

During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, the building is used as a comedy venue under the name Pleasance Dome with five performing spaces, operated by the Pleasance Theatre Trust.[6]



  1. ^ "Lost Edinburgh: Bristo Street". www.scotsman.com. Archived from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Potterrow Development Design and Access Report" (PDF). LDN Architects. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Potterrow Dome Courtyard". Graham. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  4. ^ Edinburgh University Students' Association, George Square and Potterrow
  5. ^ "Nelson Mandela British Honours List". Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives. 23 June 2018.
  6. ^ "About Us | Pleasance Edinburgh | Festival, Fringe, Theatre, Comedy, ed Fringe". Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2011.