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Patel Taylor's Bristol concert hall extension approved

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‘Pavilion-style’ extension to St George’s concert hall in Bristol is part of a £5.5 million revamp of the arts venue

The 740m² glass and stone building will serve as a new entrance, provide extra performance and education spaces, house a café catering for 560 people and act as ‘a quiet retreat during intervals in performances’.

The project will introduce step-free access directly into the main hall and forms part of the programme which will see the remodelling of all backstage and artist facilities. 

St George’s was originally built as a church in 1823 and was transformed into a concert venue and ‘centre for fine music’ in the 1970s after a period of neglect.

Andrew Taylor of Patel Taylor said: ‘Working on projects such as St George’s lifts the soul and reminds us once again of why we practise architecture.

‘We’re extremely pleased it has received planning permission and we look forward to working with St George’s Bristol to bring this vision into reality.’

Suzanne Rolt, chief executive of St George’s, said she hoped the approval would give confidence to the funding bodies who have already pledged their support, as well as help attract further supporters to come forward to secure the remaining £1.8 million needed to realise our vision’.

The project is set to complete in October 2017.

Architect’s view

‘A multi-purpose, double-height space with a glass entrance establishes a new dynamic presence for St George’s to the south on Great George Street, previously partially concealed on one side by tall walls, gates and car parking.

‘Constructed in glass and stone, this new space will become a striking and contemporary addition to the core historic structure of St George’s.

‘The ground floor of the pavilion is level with the crypt of the former church, while stone steps allow visitors to ascend through the entrance to meet the historic building in a newly created access point to the existing auditorium. The restrained stone construction and extensive use of glass establishes a distinct but complementary identity within an historic setting.

‘New and easily legible visitor entrances with direct step-free access into the main hall for the first time will also be completed together with the remodelling of all backstage and artist facilities and new education and workshop spaces.’

Patel Taylor St Georges Bristol

Project data

Location Brandon Hill, Bristol
Client St George’s Bristol
Architect Patel Taylor
Project manager Sallie Blanks
Structural engineer Buro Happold
M&E consultant Buro Happold
Acoustician Charcoalblue
Quantity surveyor Mildred Howells
Funding £775,000 Heritage Lottery Fund, £2.75 million Arts Council England
Gross internal floor area 740m² (new extension)
Total cost £5.5 million

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