The centre of Bristol has changed dramatically in the past 20 years with a rise in large commercial office developments replacing redundant warehouses around Temple Meads and the floating harbour. DKA have completed a range of projects in central Bristol from speculative multi-storey offices, refurbishments of tired commercial space to remodelling 1980s developments for office or residential uses. Familiar with the needs of commercial developers, planning and industry best practice (including BCO guidance), DKA have the skills and experience to create developments from scratch or work with the existing city fabric.
Creating workspaces that work within the existing city fabric
Temple Circus is a seven storey, high quality office development providing c. 9,000 sqm of air-conditioned office space close to Bristol Temple Meads station. DKA led the design from concept to completion. Construction was not straightforward; the site was very constrained and subject to an extensive archaeological investigation which uncovered medieval street patterns and dwellings. There is a basement car park and a new pedestrian plaza on Temple Way, which displays public art in the form of colourful, slowly revolving columns by Bristol-based Walter Jack Studio. The piazza leads to a double height reception space and lift lobby. The terracotta cladding and full height glazed elements give the building a striking appearance in the commercial Temple Quarter of the city.
A short distance away on Victoria Street, DKA undertook a series of design studies for the same client for the redevelopment of Canningford House. The proposals involved the demolition of the existing building with a new mixed-use replacement development. The scheme made provision for a 40,000 sqm, six storey, air-conditioned office building with a basement car park and roof terracing to the upper floors. The office spaces were designed to the latest BCO guidance. Adjacent to the office building a separate seven-storey building provided retail at ground floor level with one and two-bedroom flats above. The site sits within the Redcliffe Conservation area close to the Floating Harbour. The designs had to respect the setting of a listed Georgian pub, ‘The Cornubia’ and re-instate the historic link between Victoria Street and Temple Street.
Bristol’s Floating Harbour has an eclectic mix of historic warehouses, 1980’s office developments, hotels and floating restaurants. Constructed in the early 1980s, Bristol Bridge House served as office space until it became unsuited to modern open plan needs. DKA were appointed to consider innovative ways to rejuvenate the building for a new tenant, maximising the prime city centre waterside location. Although constrained by existing structure and floor levels, the plans achieved 80% net to gross and retained the flexibility to be sub-let. After a year-long consultation with Bristol City Planning department, permission was granted for an extensive refurbishment; retaining much of the waterside elevation but with a totally new roadside façade and entrance.
Also, in the Redcliffe Conservation area, Freshford House is a 1980s office building that needed refurbishment following a long-term tenancy. DKA were appointed to consider feasibility options for everything from a light touch refurbishment to a major remodelling and rear extension. The client took forward an option to refresh the main entrance, cores and office space. For the same client we also completed a similar set of designs for another 1980s development at Aztec West in North Bristol. Both designs were completed in 2016 and enabled the client to market the buildings with a renewed appeal, securing tenancies on both.
You can read more about the office fit-outs we did at Freshford House and Aztec West here.
Alex moved to Bath in 1996 to study architecture and has found it impossible to leave. Graduating as an RIBA prize winner, he has worked at DKA since 2002, becoming a specialist in Sustainable Design, Education, Rail, Aerospace, Automotive Engineering, Conservation and Commercial projects. Alex possesses a strong design awareness combined with a methodical approach to managing projects and teams.
James graduated from the Welsh School of Architecture (Cardiff) with an honours degree in 2004, qualifying as an architect in 2006. He joined DKA in 2007 and became a Director in 2016. He also qualified as a Project Manager in 2011 so that he could add value to existing clients and projects and offer new services to new clients.
James has worked across all project sectors during his time at DKA, but has gone on to specialise in Automotive Engineering projects and now leads this ever expanding sector within the office. He works with many leading blue chip clients in the automotive and aerospace sectors and has developed an in depth understanding of automotive process and testing facilities.