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Spanish practice wins Bristol Royal Infirmary revamp

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Madrid-based Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos has won the competition to redesign the façade of the Bristol Royal Infirmary

The practice’s winning design, entitled ‘Veil’ was selected by University Hospitals Bristol Trust at a board meeting yesterday (30 July).

The competition was set up at the end of last year to find a new frontage for the Queen’s Building, part of the Bristol Royal Infirmary and locally voted as one of the ugliest buildings in the city.

The victorious design by Nieto Sobejano was chosen ahead of schemes by fellow finalists ‘Light and Air’ by New York-based practice SO-IL and ‘Vertical Garden’ by Stockholm-based practice Tham and Videgard. Six practrices had originally been shortlisted for the prize job to overhaul the 1973 Watkins Gray block (see AJ 14.03.2013).

A total of £2.2million will be spent on a revamp of the Queen’s Building façade, part of an overall £80million redevelopment of the Bristol Royal Infirmary which will include a new ward, entrance and helipad.

The brief asked for submissions which created ‘a hospital façade 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.’

Alexandra Sobral, lead architect & project manager for the facade scheme at Nieto Sobejano said: ‘We believe that this project will [take] the Bristol Royal Infirmary to another aesthetic level [and] will reflect the UH Bristol’s reputation for clinical excellence, and ultimately contribute towards the creation of a landmark building for the city.’

Bristol Royal Infirmary facade shortlist:

  • Tham & Videgard
  • Daniel Buren
  • SO-IL
  • Nieto Sobejano
  • Antoni Malinowski
  • Luke Jerram
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