So it’s Easter and in a chocolate filled haze spent in the architectural splendour of Edinburgh some thought was given to half a dozen egg-ceptionally designed schemes that Planning Ventures could award an inaugural Good Egg prize for 2014. This years egg-cellent schemes have focused on Bristol, but who knows where next year’s Planning Ventures Easter Egg-cellent building hunt could lead. So in no particular order here are the half dozen Good Eggs:
THE FIRST GOOD EGG: Paintworks, Arnos Vale, Bristol
This is an egg-straordinary scheme that has married old with new and revitalised a run down business area to create a new creative quarter for Bristol. The vision of its developer was to create an integrated approach to life that married high quality buildings and external spaces – which has been achieved par egg-cellence. Paintworks houses a range of uses incorporating residential loft style living, creative industries, small retail spaces and a variety of exciting restaurants, cafes and bars. It has great quality, hard landscaped outdoor space that provides a beautiful surrounding for the people that live, work and socialise here.
Phases 1 and 2 are complete. Phase 3 is due to be determined by Bristol City Council’s Enterprise Zone Development Control Committee soon.
GOOD EGG NO. TWO: Pro Cathedral, Clifton, Bristol
Finally after years of dereliction one of Bristol’s most significant Listed Buildings at Risk has been saved through an egg-citing, high quality renovation and development scheme by Student Castle. Building on the legacy of the range of residential and student residential planning permissions, listed building consents and conservation area consents obtained by Urban Creation, Student Castle has breathed new life into this building with a scheme for high quality student residential accommodation. The listed building itself has been beautifully restored where required and provides fabulous accommodation for students studying at Bristol’s two Universities. Whilst the interior has been totally transformed with the installation of residential accommodation the integrity of the Grade II listed building remains intact.
In addition to the restoration and re-use of the listed building new development has been constructed to the rear of the building. Designed originally by AWW Architects and modified by M2H Architects for the student residential scheme, the new build elements add a high quality modern layer to the story of this site.
This is all tied together with a high quality landscape scheme that ensured the retention of TPO trees, the creation of new gardens and hard landscaped areas and the integration of religious and commemorative monuments within the grounds. A fabulous space to sit and eat chocolate eggs!
THREE GOOD EGGS: Lakeshore, Bishopsworth, Bristol
A multi award winning scheme from Urban Splash and Acanthus Ferguson Mann Architects that re-used Imperial Tobacco’s redundant office headquarters. The closure of this site had a devastating impact on this part of the city in so many ways and whilst this scheme took some time to complete it was definitely worth the wait. A superbly designed residential scheme that regenerated not only the building to provide a really egg-citing sustainable, residential scheme, but it revitalised the landscape surrounding the buildings. This scheme is not only of egg-ceptional design quality but it plays a significant part in the regeneration of South Bristol.
THE FOURTH GOOD EGG: Colston Hall Foyer, City Centre, Bristol
This scheme was an egg-citing and bold move by the Council. They demolished a listed building to build this and fair play the scramble paid off. The design of this is bold, bright and adventurous – like all good painted Easter Eggs should be! Not only does it sit really well with the listed Colston Hall, but it functions really well as an event and socialising space as well as the functional entrance to the Colston Hall itself. We just need the Council to be bold enough to encourage others to bring forward similar designs.
GOOD EGG NO. FIVE: School of Life Sciences, Kingsdown, Bristol
Ok, so this Good Egg might not be to everyone’s taste, but for me it’s pure Dark Chocolate. A very bold building in a sensitive area. Yep it’s big and bold, but it has to be, it’s a state of the art Science building, designed by Sheppard Robson Architects, that not only the University of Bristol needs, but the wider city too. In order to attract the best scientists and students to this city the University has to provide the best facilities that it can. This building has the difficult job of responding to a context of different types of buildings and architectural styles. It does this well through its palette of materials, its finishes and the integration of a egg-ceptionally high quality public realm (including a living wall), designed by NPA. Highly sustainable and of great quality this building deserves to be awarded a dark chocolate Good Egg.
THE SIXTH GOOD EGG: Pipe Lane, City Centre, Bristol
The final one is a small but perfectly formed egg. This student residential scheme, by Urban Creation, finally saw the re-development of a long standing derelict site in the heart of a Conservation Area in the City Centre. The new building responds really well to its context in terms of height, architectural style and building materials. It finishes the street scene really well and importantly was awarded only one of five Environmental Awards by the Civic Society last year. So it’s not just Planning Ventures that thinks this is a Good Egg!
So well done to all and not a rotten egg amongst them. So what would get your ‘Good Eggs’ awards? Tweet your suggestions to @Planningventure. So now onto a list for Planning Ventures Christmas Crackers!
Finally would like to say a huge thanks to Amy Grenham at www.desynit.com for the inspiration for this blog post – the originator of this year’s Good Egg awards. Head over to Desynit’s website and see what they are all about (tip – it’s not planning, design or heritage – it’s all about something that can help change peoples working lives).