02 Jul 2018

ADP wins planning approval for University of Bristol scheme

Plans for a new teaching hub for the School of Humanities at the University of Bristol have been approved by Bristol City Council. The scheme designed by ADP will improve and integrate facilities to meet the university’s ambition to attract the world’s best students and staff.

Professor Mike Basker, Dean of the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Arts, said: “The new Humanities Building comes at an exciting time for the Faculty of Arts, and the School of Humanities in particular. It marks another major phase of sustained investment in the Faculty following the creation of 25 new academic posts last year. It reflects the quality and importance of the work we do here in Bristol, and is recognition of the role that the arts and humanities play in enriching our lives. The new building is designed to provide modern collaborative space for staff and students and a truly exceptional environment to study, learn, teach and research. Investment in the building is investment in every one of us.”

The new teaching hub comprises three linked pavilions behind existing Grade II listed villas on Woodlands Road. These will provide a range of teaching spaces, including large, flexible teaching rooms, a cinema room, a 240-person lecture theatre and academic offices.

The pavilions and the villas are joined via single-storey glazed links, which provide circulation and exhibition space, and a flexible social learning zone at the heart of the scheme.

A new glazed entrance has been created to give the School of Humanities greater presence and identity. This is set back from the primary façade to give the listed villas visual dominance. An accessible secondary entrance will be created on Tyndall’s Park Road. Here, a corner bay, a reference to the projecting bay window of the adjacent villa, creates a shop window that will be provide a view of activity within the school.

To improve accessibility a level access and route has been created across the site; a key consideration for the University. Two courtyards behind the listed villas are designed to provide more useable space, with carefully placed soft landscaping. Landscaping to the front of the villas will provide new pedestrian routes for staff, students and the public.

On course for BREEAM ‘Excellent’, the building is designed to maximise natural light and ventilation. A blue roof and photovoltaic panels are proposed to reduce water and energy consumption, and a brown living roof and planting to the roof terraces and courtyards will enhance ecology. Nine new multi-stem trees will be planted as part of the scheme.

The project is due to be completed in Spring 2019.

Graham McRuvie, ADP Director said “Our solution recognises the heritage of the site, not just the Victorian villas and gardens, but also the MacCormac Jamieson & Pritchard additions of the 1980s. We are pleased that we have been granted consent for our scheme, which is sensitive to the context and history of the site, but also equips the University with modern facilities that it needs for the future.”



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