A new quarter for city centre student living
|Client||Watkin Jones Group|
A brief history
Our design for New Bridewell, a student accommodation and mixed use scheme, is part of AWW's regeneration work of the Nelson Street area which was spearheaded by our Courtrooms project. These developments are at the core of Bristol City Council’s regeneration aspirations for the area.
The project vision was to provide a gateway building and distinctive architectural element of real quality to add much needed vibrancy to a previously rundown area. We wanted to provide a pedestrian link and public square between Rupert and Nelson Street that would enable this area to be utilised as a new outdoor public amenity space to provide real benefits to the local urban environment.
The U-shaped plan form was developed to allow for active frontage on Rupert, Bridewell and Nelson Streets whilst opening up the inner courtyard to the new pedestrian route and reducing mass. The building culminates in a 15 storey landmark gateway to the city. The two new gables that face the public route differ in their scale and appearance to add interest and diversity to the space, whilst responding to and complementing its historical context.
The development removed the existing 1960s police headquarters which contributed little architecturally or contextually to this part of the city, and which negatively impacted on local heritage assets. It was replaced with a new mixed use development providing 500 new student bed spaces with additional commercial and retail opportunities on the ground floor.
The ecological enhancement of the site was of paramount importance. The design has incorporated the provision of biodiverse/ living roofs (with recommended species) and bird boxes. Low energy efficiency measures were incorporated to ensure that the carbon footprint of the development is kept to a minimum. We anticipate approximately a 17% reduction in carbon from the development, thanks to these measures.
Close proximity to the city centre promotes social inclusion by ensuring all building users have excellent access to shops, services and facilities. This centrally-located high quality student living offering enables Bristol to remain at the forefront of university study.
The scheme has created local employment opportunities, both during the construction phase and since the scheme has been operational, in an area where previously few jobs were generated.