Project Summary

  • Garage structure to rear of Grade I listed terrace in Conservation Area.
  • Renovation, conversion and extension to create contemporary office unit.
  • Local demand for flexible small business space.
  • Heritage and amenity concerns.

The Planning Process

The proposals involved the upgrade and conversion of a large domestic garage into a bespoke office unit, within the curtilage of a Grade I listed dwelling. Located to the rear of one of the few original Georgian Squares in central Bristol and spliced with post-war development, the area was yielding to change. A flurry of renovation activity either side (conversions to apartments, recording studios and a boutique hotel) meant the repurposing of the garage was timely.

The Development Plan earmarked St Paul’s as a priority for local employment, with specific policy support for flexible small business space, suitable for a wide range of uses. Working with locally-based DHV architects, we submitted planning and listed building applications for a subtle renovation scheme for the garage, featuring a roof extension, new mezzanine floor, full height glazed frontage and air source heat pumps to complete its sustainability upgrade. A heritage statement justified the design response to the mixed Georgian/C20th context, and technical solutions were offered to mitigate potential daylight and noise impacts to the neighbouring flats and hotel guests.

Bristol City Council welcomed the micro form of commercial space for the area and supported the contemporary aesthetic, acknowledging that the rear of the Grade I listed terrace had altered in significance over the years and that the garage now relates more coherently to the post-war vernacular.

Sustainable, efficient, brownfield development at its most modest – a fitting form of workspace for St Pauls and hopefully a catalyst for further investment.