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Haverstock builds £16m police training centre in quarry

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Haverstock has completed this police training centre in a disused quarry in Bristol


The 5,800m2 training centre for Avon and Somerset Police in Bristol includes two firing ranges, tactical training facilities, offices and classrooms.

Designed as an ‘integrated part of the landscape’, the £16 million scheme nestles into the quarry and the elevations are covered with stone gabions. 

Blackrock Quarry Police Training Centre by Haverstock

Blackrock Quarry Police Training Centre by Haverstock

Source: Simon Kennedy

Architect’s view

The building emerges as an irregular form echoing the geometry of the quarry workings. To further blend with the quarry walls, the exposed elevations of the building are faced in hand-filled angled stone gabions. The building is covered with a bio-diverse roof that over time will let the building merge with the adjacent rugged landscape. Underneath, a structural solution provides the necessary ballistic protection as well as acoustic insulation to protect the local wildlife.

Due to the very specific Home Office requirements for the performance of the building, Haverstock was tasked with finding solutions to some very challenging issues. One of these challenges was how to meet the very large ventilation demands of the firing ranges. The slatted timber soffit over the main entrance not only announces it but also serves as a large plenum, drawing air into the plant room adjacent and then down into the ranges.

The training facilities are designed to be simple, practical, safe, secure and robust whilst the front of house and admin spaces have a richer palette of materials and a more refined aesthetic.

Blackrock Quarry Police Training Centre by Haverstock

Blackrock Quarry Police Training Centre by Haverstock

Source: Simon Kennedy

Project data

Location Portishead, Bristol
Type of project Police Training Centre
Client Galliford Try/Avon and Somerset Police
Architect Haverstock
Landscape architect Illman Young Landscape Design
Planning consultant CSJ Planning Consultants
Structural engineer URS Infrastructure & Environment
M&E consultant URS Infrastructure & Environment
Quantity surveyor Galliford Try
Planning supervisor Tracey Kirby Consulting
Lighting consultant URS Infrastructure & Environment UK
Main contractor Galliford Try
Funding PFI
Tender date May 2012
Start on site date September 2013
Completion date August 2015
Contract duration 3 years
Gross internal floor area 5,800m2
Form of contract and/or procurement PFI/Design and Build
Total cost £16 million

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