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BRI Cardiovascular Research Unit | Bristol

Quick turnaround for medical building with biodiverse facades

The Bristol Heart Institute needed an extension to house its cardiovascular research unit, designed by Stretto Architects. As trees would be lost to the development, alternative planting opportunities on the building needed to be found.

On a constrained site, we turned balconies into planted terraces, low walls into planters, roofs into habitats, and walls into green facades. The choice of the right plant in the right place became even more challenging when combined with the microclimate of a 1:5 hill and areas of deep shade from surrounding trees. Species were selected for their biodiversity value and ability to withstand wind and drought.

Materials took their cue from nearby pennant stone slabs, rubblestone walls, and the green patinated copper fins of the parent building. Copper’s natural burnished tones were also reflected in the planting palette.

Architect:  Stretto  Bristol

Key features

  • Biodiversity on a every niche of medical building
  • Tight site and very tight programme
  • Quick and pragmatic response
  • 1:5 access required super creative solution

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