From drab car park to ‘iconic parkland’: New vision for flagship site opposite St Mary Redcliffe

July 15, 2022

A surface car park opposite Bristol’s St Mary Redcliffe church is set to be transformed into an ‘iconic parkland’ under plans drawn up by a group of Bristol and London designers.

The proposed scheme is the result of a design competition staged by Bristol Housing Festival, which called for inspiring and inclusive ideas for the Portwall Lane car park. 

The judges said they were impressed by the design from contest winners Groupwork, McGregor Coxall and Hydrock as it “responded to the historical and cultural heritage of the site”.

They added: “Its innovative approach to architectural design was matched with a sensitivity to local community needs, providing homes and green space that the city could be proud of.”

The ambition is for the site to be an exemplar of sustainability and biodiversity while helping the city to meet its housing needs by including 40% affordable housing.

“Our vision reimagined Redcliffe Way as Redcliffe Park – transforming it into an iconic parkland, sensitively intertwined with the fabric of Redcliffe and the wider city.” 

Melissa Mean of Redcliffe Neighbourhood Forum said re-claiming Redcliffe Way for homes, nature, and community infrastructure had long been the ambition of the Redcliffe community.

“The winning design is a really exciting and thoughtful response to this challenge,” she added.

“We look forward to working with the team on what will be an important first step in creating a new heart for our neighbourhood.”

The vicar of St Mary Redcliffe, Canon Dan Tyndall, also welcomed the plans, calling it “really distinctive” and adding that it would create essential links between north and south Redcliffe and from Temple Meads to Bristol’s South Bank.

“It relates well with the architecture of St Mary Redcliffe and furthers our community’s vision to see the regeneration of Redcliffe Way,” he added.

Goram Homes, Bristol City Council’s housing company, will now appoint the team to RIBA Stage 2 and prepare the pre-application process.

It will also co-design a community engagement strategy with Redcliffe Neighbourhood Forum.

Groupwork is an award-winning London based practice with an ethos that revolves around producing historically responsive, materially honest and beautifully detailed buildings in conservation areas, AONBs (areas of outstanding natural beauty) and of grade I, II and II* listed status.

McGregor Coxall is a leading multi-disciplinary design firm with offices in Bristol, London, Sydney, Melbourne and Shenzhen.

Bristol-based Hydrock is an integrated engineering design, energy, and sustainability consultancy. Its goal is to shape places, communities and infrastructure that inspires, respects the environment, and delivers societal and asset value for everyone.

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