College Green, Bristol

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Client
Capsulise Investments Ltd
Local Authority
Bristol City Council
Status
Completed
Constraints
Listed building, conservation area

Bringing new life to a neglected grade-II listed building in the heart of Bristol’s historic city centre.

The two hundred year old property faces onto the green space of College Green on a busy thoroughfare opposite Bristol Cathedral. Originally a grand house, with separate kitchen block to the rear, the building most recently saw use with two shop-units on the ground floor and three floors of tightly sub-divided office-space above. Access to the offices was only possible by a narrow modern doorway and staircase, and the floors and roof above have suffered serious structural subsidence over the years, rendering them unsuitable for current commercial purposes. Very little remains of the buildings’ original interior, with the exception of the staircase and decorative paneling to the stairwell on the upper levels.

Due to the historic nature of the building, and it’s poor condition, the work involved a complicated process of design, closely coupled with work on site to expose and assess the building fabric and agree alterations with the conservation authorities, archaeologists, planning department and building control. As much of the original fabric has been retained as possible, including some surprises found during the course of the work, such as slate-slab floors and an old bread-oven.

The work to the building was defined in three distinct phases – firstly to form one large shop-unit on the ground floor, with a new shop-front in keeping with the historic façade; secondly to remove all of the latter additions to the upper levels, repairing and leveling the floors making the building structurally sound and viable for use as a modern office space. Finally the upper floors were fitted out to provide flexible contemporary offices, with existing historic features refurbished and exposed, with contemporary elements added to match the quality of the building.

Bringing new life to a neglected grade-II listed building in the heart of Bristol’s historic city centre.

Client
Capsulise Investments Ltd
Local Authority
Bristol City Council
Status
Completed
Constraints
Listed building, conservation area

The two hundred year old property faces onto the green space of College Green on a busy thoroughfare opposite Bristol Cathedral. Originally a grand house, with separate kitchen block to the rear, the building most recently saw use with two shop-units on the ground floor and three floors of tightly sub-divided office-space above. Access to the offices was only possible by a narrow modern doorway and staircase, and the floors and roof above have suffered serious structural subsidence over the years, rendering them unsuitable for current commercial purposes. Very little remains of the buildings’ original interior, with the exception of the staircase and decorative paneling to the stairwell on the upper levels.

Due to the historic nature of the building, and it’s poor condition, the work involved a complicated process of design, closely coupled with work on site to expose and assess the building fabric and agree alterations with the conservation authorities, archaeologists, planning department and building control. As much of the original fabric has been retained as possible, including some surprises found during the course of the work, such as slate-slab floors and an old bread-oven.

The work to the building was defined in three distinct phases – firstly to form one large shop-unit on the ground floor, with a new shop-front in keeping with the historic façade; secondly to remove all of the latter additions to the upper levels, repairing and leveling the floors making the building structurally sound and viable for use as a modern office space. Finally the upper floors were fitted out to provide flexible contemporary offices, with existing historic features refurbished and exposed, with contemporary elements added to match the quality of the building.

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