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  • Conkers Aerial Walkway
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  • Spring at Stonebridge Park
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  • Kew Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives Wing
  • Letchworth Transition Town
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  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Richmond Park Golf Clubhouse
  • International Digital Laboratory
  • Cambridge Conservation Campus
  • Bristol Harbourside Building 9
  • Bristol Harbourside Building 3b
  • Masshouse Block D
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  • Singapore Management University
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  • Bristol Harbourside Building 10
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  • Li Ka Shing Library
  • Lewisham Young People's Centre
  • Centre for Mathematical Sciences
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  • International Manufacturing Centre
  • Millennium Primary School & Health Centre
  • Bristol Harbourside Masterplan
  • Faculty of Divinity
  • Private House
  • UEL Docklands Campus
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  • Hooke Park
  • Pittville Art College Campus Masterplan
  • Archaeolink Visitor Centre
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  • Clach Mhor
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  • Highgrove Housing
  • Olivetti's New Branches
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View: Grid List
Client
Crest Nicholson Regeneration
Location
Bristol
Size
7.028Ha
Homes
769
Contact
Colin Rice
Team
Gardiner and Theobald, Arup, Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, Grant Associates, Anemos, Opinion Leader Research, Tim Knowles
Awards
British Homes Awards Commendation (2016) Sunday Times British Homes Awards - Mixed-use Development Commendation (2012) Building for Life Gold Standard (2008)
Press
RIBA Journal (2003) Building Design (2001)

Green open spaces, long vistas, waterside walks and public art have given Bristol back a once derelict part of its historic city centre.

Bristol Harbourside Masterplan

Our masterplan for Bristol Harbourside has transformed a brownfield site of former docks and industrial activity into elegant and enjoyable places to live, work and relax.

The masterplan provides generous public spaces with impressive views, opens up the waterside, and includes carefully designed buildings. Together they create a strong city centre character.

We have designed five residential buildings within the masterplan. The redevelopment includes almost 600 new homes – a mixture of apartments and houses, both affordable and for sale on the open market. The four residential buildings completed so far have an EcoHomes ‘very good’ rating.

Context

The masterplan for Bristol Harbourside centres on Canon’s Marsh which lies at the heart of Bristol beside a bend in the historic Floating Harbour and is overlooked by the Cathedral and the heights of Clifton. The 16.3 acre site, contaminated by gas works and former industrial activity, had lain derelict for some 30 years.

The spatial framework created by the masterplan locks Canon’s Marsh back into the rest of Bristol. We took a bold approach that aimed to create a clear, legible part of the city with public spaces that link into the grain of its surroundings, bounded by appropriately scaled buildings.

Central to connecting Bristol Harbourside to the rest of the city was extending the ‘Brunel Mile’ – a public walkway running from Bristol Temple Meads station – to the SS Great Britain through the Canon’s Marsh site. Completion of Building 4 – ‘Invicta’ – and the new Millennium Promenade will open up the final stretch of this route.

The design of ‘Invicta’ and the four other residential buildings is used to define the strong framework of public open space and strategic views that inspires the masterplan. The buildings rise up in a series of terraces to the split cylindrical form of Building 10 – ‘Waverley and Balmoral’ – that frames a view of the Cathedral along a new public open space, Cathedral Walk.

The sweeping crescent of Building 9 – named, appropriately, ‘The Crescent’ – defines the three main pedestrian routes that link Canon’s Marsh with the rest of Bristol. Facing the Floating Harbour, it opens up the previously inaccessible Riverside Walk.

Illustration of the routes and vistas created by the Bristol Harbourside Masterplan

Community

Community is at the heart of the strategy for the development of Bristol Harbourside. The masterplan aimed to create a busy, bustling place where people live, work and relax – and which draws in tourists. The sequence of well designed, well connected public spaces encourages walking, jogging or simply sitting outside enjoying fine vistas of the city.

The Millennium Promenade – tree-lined and planted with wild flowers – will be an accessible green space to be enjoyed by Harbourside residents as well as the public. It leads down to Harbour Square around a new inlet to the harbour. Harbour Square is designed to accommodate a diverse range of activities, including art performances, markets, the Harbourside Festival and alfresco dining.

Intrinsic to the design of the public realm is an extensive public art programme, greatly adding to the attraction of Bristol Harbourside for residents and visitors alike.

The Promenade, for example, will tie together elements of architecture, art and landscape. Designed with urban artists Sans Façon and landscape architects Grant Associates, an intriguing scheme celebrates the passage of rainwater from the roofs of the buildings to the harbour, visible through a series of collection dishes, channels and rills. (The water will be used within a sustainable urban drainage system to irrigate the landscape.)

An installation by local artist Richard Box draws the two halves of Building 10 together, animating the pedestrian square. Artist Julie Verhoeven was appointed to integrate artwork within the design of Building 9, particularly in the main entrance. Building 3b – ‘Quay Point’ – is screened from a gas compound and busy road by a flowing pattern of wildflowers, grasses and sedum.

A circular bench by Langlands and Bell on Cathedral Walk forms part of the public art programme for Bristol Harbourside.

Collaboration

The Bristol Harbourside masterplan was designed with extensive public consultation. Stakeholders were many and varied: local people, businesses, politicians, the Cathedral and cultural groups across the city all had an interest. A series of workshops was held, and people’s views and opinions incorporated into the emerging masterplan. 

In order to ensure that the masterplan fully reflected the wishes of the people of Bristol, the public consultation was monitored and assessed by the Canon’s Marsh Consultative Group.