Waterfront Place

St. Augustine’s Reach and Millennium Square

Everyone will recognise this site where Bristol’s landmark Performing Arts Centre might have been. The Council have signed a development agreement, following a design competition with Railpen/Bell Hammer to deliver a mixed-use development of a hotel and offices (main image) with space for restaurants, bars and entertainment on the ground floor. Allford Hall Monaghan Morris are the architects.

Hotel from Millennium Square

The Society has long encouraged the Council to develop this outstanding harbourside site. The Society supports the mix of uses but regrets that it cannot support this scheme. The office is out of scale with its surroundings and would overbear surrounding buildings which include the Grade II listed Bush House and would block important views across the city. This is the last and most important site on Canons Marsh. The site dominates views in all directions and particularly the focal Harbour/St. Augustine’s Reach junction. A commercial building that is adequate in other locations is not acceptable on this site which demands a building of architectural significance.

The Society understands that the hotel design is work in progress, but we cannot support the direction of travel. It is disappointing to make a negative response. Without imaginative design, hotels with their standard room modules create repetitive elevations. This elevation presents a grid of equally spaced room bays without an overall architectural envelope or composition. This design does not create a sense of place or local character.

John Frenkel

Full Civic Society response.



10 thoughts on “Waterfront Place”

    1. This development is over-sized for the area. It will spoil the views from other important nearby buildings. I do not support this development. It is not sympathetic to the proportion of other buildings in this area.

  1. Angus Gregson

    This is so clealry oversized in relation to the buidlings around it (as well as being ugly in its uniformity). Why does the Council not stipulate in advance a limit on heights for each particular development which would save wasted time by the planners and this tediously necessary application-objections- replanning process. This could apply to so many of the submissions here and in the past.

  2. This building looks disproportionate and lumpen. Something more fluid, imaginative and creative that would enhance the space rather than deaden it would be what should go here.

  3. Richard Lane

    I don’t understand this pre conceived idea that a building can be out of place to it’s neighbours. Most would agree and argue that the old CWS building was a marvelous structure, yet it dwarfed adjacent buildings. The thing it had, was interesting architecture. This building has no interesting architectural value, other than mirroring adjacent buildings at the lower level.
    It needs to be bold, big and in use for the general public at ground and roof levels, as well as any elevation fronting the water.

  4. Robert Mason

    Awful, will ruin event space, ruin nightlife, ruin sunset on the other side of the harbour, will ruin bristol, devalue all local property.

    Absolute opposition to this monstrosity.

  5. A dated building already. It has a crass Sandbanks look on the waterside front and a very unattractive facade on the Millennium Square side. Neither a landmark building or a statement. It doesn’t reference Bristol, it could be anywhere. Was there a shortlist? It’s an important location, was there a public exhibition or anything?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top