City Hall, Bristol

Client: Bristol City Council

Bristol City Council (BCC) are in the process of transforming the way in which the City Council’s services are delivered and as a result are undertaking a wide ranging One Change Programme.

Part of this larger Programme is a project to rationalise the Council’s current accommodation and introduce new working practices to employees. This project is known as the Bristol Workplace Project (BWP). Within this project, the Council will retain City Hall as their strategic and ceremonial hub but adapt their working environment within the building to reinforce and enable modern working practices and maximise output performance.

In 2013 Alec French Architects and PLACEmaking formed ‘ADAPT’, a multi-skilled collection of Bristol based specialist architects, workplace consultants, designers, engineers to undertake Bristol City Council’s ‘Bristol Workplace Programme (BWP)’. By enabling the council staff and partners to work in a more efficient and effective way, the programme reduces the council’s office estate from 38 buildings to 2 including the Grade II* listed City Hall and more recently purchased 100 Temple Street with savings of £72 million. PLACEmaking led on the transformation of the working environments and the cultural Change Management. Alec French led on the planning, building works and infrastructure upgrades with specialist input from ARUP, Gardiner & Theobald and Bath based Donald Insall Associates.

City Hall is a significant example of the work of a prominent RIBA Gold Medal Architect, Vincent Harris, who was a leading expert in office and in particular municipal office design of which City Hall is a key example, acknowledged by its Grade II* Listing.

The architectural design has been developed with reference to four key principles identified as being important to the original design:
· Integrated design
· Efficient office space
· Flexibility
· Sense of Place.
These four principles have been developed by layering in further principles:
· Respect for the heritage asset that is City Hall as indicated by its Grade II* listing
· Integration of the modern working practices in particular agile working
· Improving the carbon footprint of City Hall.

City Hall is due for completion July 2016.