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Nieto Sobejano completes new facade for Bristol Royal Infirmary

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Work has finished on Madrid-based Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos’ competition redesign of the facade of the Bristol Royal Infirmary

The practice was chosen in 2013 to rework the frontage for the Queen’s Building, which is part of the Bristol Royal Infirmary and has been voted one of the ugliest buildings in the city.

The design, entitled ’Veil’, was selected by University Hospitals Bristol Trust ahead of schemes by New York-based practice SO-IL and Stockholm practice Tham and Videgard. Six practices had originally been shortlisted for the prize job to overhaul the 1965 Wakins Gray block (AJ 14.03.13).

According to Nieto Sobejano, who worked with local practice CODA, the original facade had ’undergone numerous alterations, additions and modifications to the point of losing the character of the initial project’.

The new front, it said, was ’based on a folding surface adapting to the existing heterogeneous conditions, while keeping the rhythm of the original facade’.

The scheme also created ’a buffer zone between the hospital and the main road [creating] breathing space for patients and visitors arriving at the hospital’.

Initially given a budget of £2.2 million, the project forms part of an overall £80 million redevelopment of the Bristol Royal Infirmary which includes a new ward, entrance and helipad.

The original brief asked for submissions which created ‘a hospital facade that is non-threatening and welcoming for patients and visitors’ and which ‘contributes in a positive way to the streetscape and public realm of this part of central Bristol’.

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