The refurbishment of a factory building into a multi-use creative complex.

The Tobacco Factory is one of the few surviving buildings from the great Imperial Tobacco site on Raleigh Road, Bristol. It was saved from demolition by Bristol architect George Ferguson who has turned it into a model of urban regeneration.

Previously known as the Franklyn Davey & Co building, it was built in 1912 to the design of Sir Frank Wills, the architect of many Bristol landmarks and institutions. The Bridgwater brickwork is beautifully detailed with a host of ‘specials’.

Ferguson Mann Architects took a hands-off approach to the conversion so that the integrity of the interior could be maintained and that any added elements would be clearly legible. This was been achieved through the use of colour and ensuring that all new parts, such as fittings and services, employ a modern, uncompromising aesthetic, appropriate to the boldness of the original building.

The building, which completed in 2001, houses a bar, oriental bistro, creative industry work space, live/work loft apartments, animation and performing arts schools. The Tobacco Factory Theatre which has been operating in the building since 1998 is one of the most exciting small theatre venues in the country.