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Allies and Morrison appointed to Bristol's Arena Island

Allies and Morrison is to lead the ‘design vision’ for Bristol’s Arena Island - the future home for a £91million, 12,000-capacity horseshoe-shaped arena

The practice was appointed by Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to oversee the development of the disused former diesel train depot east of Bristol Temple Meads station.

The HCA is investing £11million in new bridge linking to the site and unlock it for development and Bristol City Council are currently inviting bids from organisations to both design and operate the arena itself.

Allies and Morrison was part of the team which led the masterplanning exercise for the transformation of London 2012’s Olympic Park and the regeneration of the Kings Cross area of London. The architect has been given the task of creating detailed plans for the public space, street plan and buildings which will form a creative ‘hub’.

The work on the Arena Island site will also include an assessment of partners’ current thinking for the site and a series of discussions with key stakeholders. Drawings which will inform future development on the site will be produced by the end of the year alongside a delivery plan for the HCA’s five enterprise zone sites, which is being led by Arup and a team that includes internationally renowned Gehl Architects.

David Warburton, HCA Head of Area, said: ‘We wanted a world-class, highly experienced team to help us put together a master-plan to shape the new quarter at Arena Island.

‘This work will be an important part of creating the buzz that’s needed to form a place on a par with the best innovative cities in Europe, where new ideas and innovative thinking will spark off its surroundings and thrive.

‘This builds on the progress being made with the infrastructure being installed at Arena Island, which is progressing well and remains a vital element of unlocking this site to major development. I’m looking forward to working with partners to create an exciting new vision for this site.’

Allies and Morrison partner Bob Allies said the site represents ‘a very significant addition to the city’s cultural resources.’

‘It is also, given the aspirations of the city’s current administration, a particularly exciting time to be working in Bristol.’

Previous article (AJ 31.01.2013)
Contest for 12,000 seat arena in Bristol launched

Former RIBA President and newly elected Bristol mayor George Ferguson has announced a design contest for a 12,000-spectator arena in the city

The project will be built close to Bristol Temple Meads station and aims to be ‘the most environmentally friendly building of its kind ever built’.

The stadium is planned to open in four years’ time despite funding cuts faced by the city with the Local Enterprise Partnership approached for funding.

After previous failed attempts to create an indoor arena, the land had been reportedly earmarked to become allotments in 2012 before the arena ambitions resurfaced.

Read more about George Ferguson’s plans for Bristol here.

In November 2009 the former RIBA president, the co-founder of Ferguson Mann Architects, resorted to ‘guerrilla architecture’ in an attempt to block development of the Bristol City’s soon-to-be vacated city centre site, which was being backed by Tesco.

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