Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square, situated in the heart of Bristol City Centre, demonstrates how existing buildings can be retrofitted, recycled and transformed to meet the demands of the 21st century. Taking a fresh approach, and creating a product not previously seen in Bristol, the project saw a four-storey low-quality mid-80s office building which had stood vacant since 2013 become a benchmark for workplace design in Bristol, and set record rents in the city.

Whilst the principle of the existing office floor plan was retained, every other aspect of the building was either remodelled or upgraded. The scheme was designed to provide flexibility for potential occupants, either through multi-occupancy, split floors or serving as a potential HQ building for a single let.

The design is centred on the refurbished atrium space, which contains a striking 13m high living green wall inspired by the neighbouring Church gardens, which helps improve natural air quality, dampen noise pollution, reduce stress, and enhance wellbeing. The atrium space contains the reception, centrally positioned while directly in view from the entrance to create a memorable yet functional welcome, whilst also providing a welcoming breakout space within an animated setting. Workspace accommodation is positioned around the perimeter, maximising natural light distribution and providing multiple viewpoints both out onto the city and into the atria and green wall.

Achieving a high-quality finish, was central to the design. Out-dated aluminium-framed glazing sections and marble finishes were replaced with contemporary, frameless clear glazing and neutral tone concrete render panels, blended with warm timber on walls and ceilings, with bronze detailing creating a cohesive palette throughout and tying spaces together. The main elements of the scheme were finished with leather and fabric upholstered soft furnishings, with coloured glazed tiles and woods selected for the finishes in the toilets, showers, and changing room facilities.

The refurbished scheme has helped to revitalise a large and unused office space in the centre of Bristol. Fully let within two months of completion to The University of Bristol and Dyson Technology, One Cathedral Square provides a modern workspace of both the highest architectural and sustainable quality, and in 2018 it received plaudits by being shortlisted for the Regional BCO Awards in the Refurbished / Recycled Workplace category.

Project Name: Cathedral Square
Project Address: 1 Cathedral Walk, Bristol, BS1 5DL
Client: Castleforge Partners
Size: 69,000 sqft
Contract Value: £7.5m
Status: Complete
Awards: Shortlisted for BCO Award in the Refurbishment / Recycled Workplace category