During the 1960s, the range of buildings the practice delivered continued to evolve. A number of speculative and end-user office buildings were developed alongside purpose-built university buildings, wine cellars, and more. The architectural style also evolved into a much more modernist approach characteristic of the decade as witnessed across the country.
Richmond Building, Bristol
The Richmond Building in Clifton, designed by partner Michael Collings, was built in 1965 to replace the Victoria Rooms as the home of the University of Bristol’s Students Union. The new facility provided large meeting rooms, television and games rooms, a barber, a bakery, dining rooms and bars, a proscenium theatre and a swimming pool which is still in use to this day. The entrance hall featured a grand sweeping staircase reminiscent of that featured in the practice’s Bristol Club refurbishment of the 1930s.
The building has recently undergone a major refurbishment by the University to extend the building’s life well into the future.
Bristol & West, Broad Quay, Bristol
The Bristol & West building on Broad Quay replaced the building society’s former headquarters (also designed by Alec French) with a bold and modern headquarters in the heart of the city. Opened in 1968, the 18-storey office building, shown below during construction, remains one the city’s tallest buildings.
Bristol & West was sold to the Bank of Ireland and ceased trading by 2009. The building was subsequently redeveloped in the 2010 as the Radisson Blu Hotel.
College Green, Bristol
The City of Bristol continued the post war rebuilding campaign with the redevelopment of a number of bomb damaged sites within the city centre.
Alec French & Partners were especially busy in one concentrated area off College Green. New infill office buildings were developed opposite the green at College House & 39-43 College Green highlighted below along with the new Harveys Wine Cellars directly behind these buildings on Denmark Street. During the decade, the practice also designed Bridge House on Baldwin Street, the Pearl Assurance House on Queen Square, Embassy House on Queens Avenue, Minster House on Baldwin Street, along with a number of buildings in and around Queen’s Square.