Bristol Soapworks

Bristol, UK

Bristol Soapworks

First Base is proposing to transform the historic Soapworks site in Bristol into a vibrant new district. The project will sensitively transform the grade II-listed building into a truly mixed-use development. Exceptional landscaping and public realm improvements by Gillespies will provide high-quality, well-connected and truly sustainable public spaces for the community to enjoy.

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The £175 million project will sensitively restore the Soapworks building – originally a soap factory dating back to the 1860s and, most recently, a warehouse for retailer Gardiner Haskins – into a mixed-use development providing a rich mix of uses including high-quality workspaces, new homes, an aparthotel and social spaces.

Designed by Woods Bagot, the proposals will reinvigorate a site that has been at the heart of Bristol’s economy for generations. The scheme will play an important part in creating a sense of identity as a cultural and social hub, referencing its traditional industrial heritage.

A prominent feature of the redevelopment will be the delivery of exceptional landscaping and public realm improvements. Gillespies' emerging landscape proposals include the design of a series of residential courtyards and attractive, sustainable public squares that will seamlessly connect the development with the surrounding area.

A new public realm will establish new pedestrian and cycle links and open green spaces that will naturally open up the redundant site and help improve connectivity from Old Market to Temple Meads, as well as providing spaces for the community.

A sculptural art piece flows through the site, connecting the spaces and architectural forms, whilst delivering informal and inclusive play opportunities. The vibrant contemporary art provides a light and musical installation for evening and seasonal interest, as well as a vertical platform for vegetation to grow, and immerse the public in an urban garden.