St Mary’s Apartments

Constructing Excellence

Sitting against the protected backdrop of Brandon Hill in central Bristol, the local authority had refused numerous planning applications from various parties to add structures to the site, until 56three Architects brought forward a proposal which introduced a sensitive repurposing of the original heritage building together with carefully positioned and designed new buildings to deliver a commercially viable development.

Formerly a ‘building at risk’, the row of Georgian (and part Victorian) townhouses on Byron Place in central Bristol was vacant and neglected for several years before being beautifully repurposed and renovated by Empiric Student Property plc to form exceptional Premium Student accommodation.  Carefully designed by 56three, there were significant removals of unsympathetic extensions and the reintroduction of hidden facades, together with the addition of a new pitched roof to complete the roofscape and recreate the lost symmetry of the original terrace.

New elements introduced within and against the heritage building are boldly contemporary but remain sympathetic to the scale, form and materiality of the renovated original structure.  With a striking combination of new and old this beautiful building is a celebration of what can be achieved through good design and with an owner who cares.

Three Winning Facts:
  1. The development makes noteworthy environmental contributions with a BREEAM Excellent rating.
  2. The low carbon development makes great improvements to air quality and biodiversity through the delivery of a series of living walls which have attracted wildlife, forming a green link between the gardens on Byron Place and Brandon Hill.
  3. The townhouses form a robust street edge and greatly improve surveillance and safety on a previously dark and rarely used lane, allowed the lane to flourish and providing a dynamic link between the City Centre and the spiralling path to the top of Brandon Hill.