Glassfields is a major redevelopment site located in Bristol’s Temple Quarter and B|D Landscape Architects were appointed by Royal London Asset Management in June 2020 to review the long-term landscape scheme as well as develop a Meanwhile landscape to be situated at the centre of the site.
The client foresaw that the staged development of the four plots might generate disruption to the completed plots that comprise The Distillery, a 90,000sq ft office space and a 200 bed hotel with meeting rooms, coffee shop and gym.
It was our brief to create a high quality and inviting public realm that achieves a better blend of soft and green landscape that will encourage office staff and visitors to use the area. As a major development RLAM were also seeking to create a harmonised space which delivers a sense of place where people can sit, rest and enjoy.
Our role began by working with the client to identify the most appropriate location for the Meanwhile Pocket Park – an initial site visit with the client helped to inform the final location with a centrally located piece of public realm with clear access from adjacent pedestrian routes and a threshold to the completed buildings.
The client’s brief for the Meanwhile site which was to include flexible space for small pop-up events and to maximise the visual impact of soft and hard landscape materials so to create a vibrant central space; which crucially provides a green outlook from the newly completed architecture developing a masterplan which is locally inspired and biodiverse.
The vision for Glassfields has been inspired by the history + heritage of the site being located adjacent to the historic Gardener Haskins. The landscape design aimed to connect with both the history and future of Glassfields and help to define and reactivate the landscape while the remaining plots are built out.
Glassfields Meanwhile Park forms a much-needed green oasis within a lively part of Bristol. Visitors are able to escape the busy streets and find breathing space amongst wildflower meadows and sensory planting.
Whilst high quality bespoke furniture elements bring a sense of purpose and comfort, encouraging people to spend time within the park and return with friends. Bespoke Wayfinding elements and playful paths lead visitors into a central event space which has been inspired by the local connection with glass blowing and bottle making. Two large bespoke corten benches were designed in collaboration with a local artist and help to enclose the central space which is brought to life by up-lit bespoke channels and a Gobo projector.
The design finds a balance between temporary installations and more permanent pieces which will one day be used in the final Glassfields Masterplan; we hope these items will help define the Meanwhile Park as well as help to instil a sense of place; locally inspired and manufactured.
The scheme gained planning permission in March 2021 was completed in early 2022 and was a finalist in ‘Excellence in Place Regeneration’ award at the 2022 Landscape Institute awards and formed part of the nationwide ‘People | Place | Nature’ Landscape Institute tour of exemplar public realm precedents.
Landscape Architecture: B|D landscape architects
Year completed: 2022
Photo credits: Jack Hobhouse + B|D landscape architects
Manufacturer of urban or play equipment:
King & Webbon – bespoke street furniture
Rank Engineering – corten channels + lighting
Chris Nangle – monolithic seating
Artwork Solutions – bespoke hoarding
Streetview may show condition before the intervention