The Old Brewery, Bristol

Bringing new life to a dis-used brewery site

Working for a Joint Venture Partnership we developed design proposals to regenerate the dis-used brewery site at Ashton Gate with new homes, co-working space and flexible commercial units.

This prominent site is at the end of a busy high street in Southville, Bristol, close to the iconic Tobacco Factory. Located on the site of the old 1820 Ashton Gate Brewery and Thomas Baynton’s Brewery, the site was most recently home to short-term and under-utilised warehousing space.

It is close to listed buildings such as the Grade-II former Tollhouse and there are non designated heritage assets (the last remaining stone clad Brewery buildings) within the site, which needed a heritage approach to the designs. Considering the local context, the surrounding uses and the growing need for homes and commercial space in Bristol City, we developed a mixed-use scheme. This comprises 94 new homes, of which 16 will be affordable, 9 shared ownership, and 7 for social rental (2 of which will be 3-bed, 5 person houses). It will have a mix of 1,2 and 3-bedroom apartments, as well as 2 three-bedroom houses, secure parking for 41 cars, and storage for 202 bicycles. The development will have fully accessible communal and public areas, with suitable ramping steps, level access approaches and thresholds. The scheme also includes 2,000 sq m of co-working and flexible commercial space.

Designs are centred around two landscaped courtyards. The first is a new public open space and links North Street to other parts of the development, whilst the second will be a private, green, secure space for use by residents. Design of the public realm plays an important part within the Old Brewery, Southville, with pedestrianised areas, terraces, courtyards, as well as a strong focus on public art.

Reflecting the vibrant and unique character of Southville, the design will echo the site’s industrial heritage. Existing buildings on the site with historical interest will be retained, such as the Bristol Byzantine Weighbridge House, the Gatehouse and its stone gate piers; some buildings such as the Brewery Manager’s House will be rebuilt; whilst new buildings will complement the heritage and design of the existing architecture.

The scheme’s success so far has been down to the team’s close collaborative approach to working with the Council. From initial concept to detailed design through to affordable housing delivery, close dialogue with the local authority at every stage has enabled us to evolve the designs which reflect the city’s aspirations for Southville and the wider city.

Our client – The Old Brewery MCC LLP – is a joint venture between Change Real Estate and Cannon Family Office. Planning consent has been granted and work will progress on site in the coming months.