A masterplan and building codes for a high-profile mixed use urban quarter at the heart of Bristol’s historic city centre.

The scheme is located on a site currently occupied by redundant commercial buildings which were constructed in the 1970s around the remains of St Mary le Port, a medieval church.

The church tower was the only surviving structure from a bombing raid during the Second World War which destroyed a large area of the historic centre and effectively eradicated the medieval street network and a large number of buildings from that era.

The proposals reinstated the medieval street pattern, principally Mary le Port Street, with the Twelfth Century St Mary le Port church as the focal point to this new quarter. The scheme includes a total of 26,500m2 of accommodation, made up from a variety of uses including retail, office, residential and a hotel.

This commission was for ongoing client advice during the masterplan process, together with a significant design review of the masterplan which had been carried out by others, and to develop the masterplan architecturally into a set of building codes.

The intention behind this was to establish guidelines for an architecture of authenticity, based on a ‘sense of place’.

The codes were therefore organised by street, drawing heavily on historic reference, and prescribing characters for each area. These were then translated into codes covering all aspects of construction, from materials to rhythms and roofscape.