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Bristol: The Latest Architecture and News

Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Hawkins\Brown and BuroHappold Design New Library for The University of Bristol

Planning application has just been submitted for a new landmark library, for the University of Bristol. The latest addition, designed by a collaborative team formed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Hawkins\Brown and BuroHappold, is set to transform the heart of the campus.

St. Philips Footbridge / Knight Architects

© Lance McNulty© Lance McNulty© Lance McNulty© Lance McNulty+ 17

14 Buildings Shortlisted for RIBA South West Awards

The Royal Institute of British Architects have announced fourteen buildings shortlisted from 48 entries for this year's RIBA South West Awards. The work includes six projects are by new and established practices based in the South West, as well as a series of new and reconfigured houses. All shortlisted buildings will be assessed by a regional jury with the winning buildings announced at an awards ceremony this May.

Bristol Old Vic / Haworth Tompkins

© Philip Vile© Philip Vile© Philip Vile© Fred Howarth+ 46

What 6 British Cities Could Have Looked Like

A historic hotbed of architectural styles and a current architectural capital of the world, cities in the United Kingdom are awash with iconic buildings from the Georgian, Neoclassical, and contemporary era. Such buildings, from the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol to the Southbank in London, have come to define the cities in which they stand, drawing the eyes of tourists and designers alike from around the world.

It is therefore an interesting exercise to examine what these cities would look like if such structures didn’t exist. To this end, Neomam Studios has partnered with QuickQuid to produce a series of images demonstrating what six British cities could have looked like, resurrecting some of Britain’s most surprising unbuilt structures.

Zaha Hadid Architects Reveals Alternative Plan for Bristol Arena Site

The Bristol Arena site faces yet another turn of events, as Zaha Hadid Architects and property investor Legal & General have released plans for a large housing development next to Temples Meads Station. The site is one of two proposed locations for the Bristol Arena, a project on hold for more than 15 years as Bristol City Council continues to debate its location. The proposal by Zaha Hadid Architects would include office blocks, a 345 room hotel, conference center and over 500 homes.

Bristol Arena. Image Courtesy of Bristol City CouncilBristol Arena. Image Courtesy of Bristol City CouncilTemple Island Development. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid ArchitectsBristol Arena. Image Courtesy of Bristol City Council+ 8

Clifton Cathedral / Purcell

© Phil Boorman
© Phil Boorman

© Phil Boorman© Phil Boorman© Phil Boorman© Phil Boorman+ 24

Grimshaw Designs Masterplan and Start-up Incubator in Bristol

Working with developer Skanska, Grimshaw has designed a master plan for Bristol Temple Square in Bristol, England, that will contain a new start-up incubator and co-working space known as Engine Shed 02. The development will serve as an activated public area linking the Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station and the city center.

The masterplan unlocks a previously isolated site adjacent to the Temple Circus roundabout by creating a new walkway, the Brunel Mile, which prioritizes pedestrian and cyclist circulation through the area. A new public square along the path will also contribute to reinvigorating the neighborhood.

Purcell Wins Competition to Revitalize St Mary Redcliffe

Purcell has been announced as the winner of the St Mary Redcliffe Design Competition, organized by Malcolm Reading. The competition sought a design which successfully reconciled the preservation of the building in its historical form with the necessary expansion to accommodate growing programmatic requirements.

The two-stage competition drew initial submissions from 53 practices, both local and international. Of these, Eric Parry Architects, Carmody Groarke, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, dRMM and Purcell were invited to submit concept designs, all of which can be viewed here. Purcell's winning design uses two main axes to "stitch" the church into its neighborhood and is described by Malcolm Reading as showing "the deepest understanding of the site and context and the opportunity at St Mary Redcliffe."

New Plans Unveiled for Populous' Bristol Arena

Populous, in collaboration with Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects and BuroHappold Engineering, have submitted their design proposal for the new 12,000-person Bristol Arena to the Bristol City Council for planning approval. Following the consultation with the city and with the public, “plans have been developed further to show how event spaces in front of the arena can be used for performances, outdoor cinema, festivals, and markets.”

Bristol Life Sciences Building / Sheppard Robson

© Fotohaus© Fotohaus© Fotohaus© Fotohaus+ 14

Populous Wins Competition to Design Bristol's £90 Million Arena

Populous has been chosen to design the “UK’s most sustainable arena,” the new £90 million Bristol Arena. Selected ahead of Grimshaw, IDOM, White Arkitekter and Wilkinson Eyre, Populous will now work with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Buro Happold to realize their winning, “crystalline” venue.

“Our design for Bristol Arena is unique,” says Populous principal Nicholas Reynolds. “It delivers a world-class live concert venue for 12,000 fans, and with seamless conversion the atmosphere and intimacy of a 4,000 seat amphitheater.”

A First Look at the Shortlisted Bristol Arena Proposals

Grimshaw, IDOM, Populous, Feilden Clegg Bradley, White Arkitekter and Wilkinson Eyre are among five international design teams who've been recently shortlisted in a RIBA-organized competition to design the £90 million Bristol Arena, a 12,000-seat indoor entertainment venue set to open by 2017. At this point, the proposals remain anonymous and the public is being asked for their opinion. A judging panel, that includes the Mayor of Bristol, will review the public commentary and designs before selecting a team in March. Take a look at the projects and share your thoughts, after the break.

Team B. Image Courtesy of RIBATeam C. Image Courtesy of RIBATeam D. Image Courtesy of RIBATeam E. Image Courtesy of RIBA+ 5

Five Teams Shortlisted To Design Bristol Arena

Five practices have been shortlisted to put forward designs for the Bristol Arena, a cultural and sporting hub which is set to have a 12,000 seating capacity and is due to open towards the end of 2017. The city's Mayor, George Ferguson (who is himself an architect-turned-politician), has said that "we now have five very capable and talented design teams with a wealth of experience between them drawing up proposals" that will contribute to the regeneration of the city's Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone (a site close to Temple Meads Station). The five shortlisted multi-disciplinary design teams are consortiums experienced in delivering major cultural venues in the UK or overseas. A team led by Populous, who completed the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, are running in collaboration with Feilden Clegg Bradley, who were shortlisted for the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize. They are competing against teams led by Grimshaw and Wilkinson Eyre, who recently installed a cable-car across London's Millennium Dome.

See details of the five teams after the break.

UK's First Frank Lloyd Wright House Blocked by Planning Inspector

A plan by Stephen Brooks Architects to build the first Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in the UK has been blocked at the appeal stage by a planning inspector, reports the Architects' Journal. Based on a 1947 design by Wright for the O'Keefe family in California, the project was the brainchild of Dr Hugh Petter, a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast who negotiated for eight years with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation before gaining permission to build the unrealised design in Tyntesfield Springs near Bristol, thousands of miles from its intended location.

Are Playable Cities the Future of Urbanism?

Who says that playing is just for kids? Bristol, in the United Kingdom, is just one of the many cities around the world experimenting with urban play, creating opportunities to eliminate urban solitude in favour of having fun. In a recent article in The Guardian, Julian Baggini dives head first into Bristol's playful new initiatives including a 300-foot water slide on the city's high street, post boxes that converse using text messaging, and city-wide zombie chases. Bristol is leading the way with urban play worldwide, hosting a conference this month entitled Making the City Playable, an opportunity for planners to convene with the creative minds behind the new form of entertainment. Find out more about urban play and the benefits it brings to cities here.

Room 13 / Mitchell Taylor Workshop

© Piers Taylor© Piers Taylor© Piers Taylor© Piers Taylor+ 18

A Bad Month for Frank Lloyd Wright Fans

December has been a month of disappointment for fans of Frank Lloyd Wright: first, a plan to build a house designed by Wright and adapted for the English countryside has been rejected by Wraxall Councillors (Bristol Post), who believe that Frank Lloyd Wright "can't be that influential". This was followed by the news that SC Johnson, the company for whom Wright designed the famous Johnson Administration Building, is trying to stop the high profile Sotheby's auction (ArtInfo) of a desk and chair designed for their building - claiming that the items were in fact stolen from them way back in the 1950s. More on the Bristol rejection here and the Sotheby''s controversy here.