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McArthur's Yard | Bristol

Preserving vestiges of history

McArthur’s Warehouse was one of the few remaining warehouses in Bristol docks, but was badly damaged by fire. Previous development ideas had failed because of the difficulty of providing a viable scheme in an historic environment close to a listed working dock and the SS Great Britain. 

This transformational scheme included a contemporary mix of office, workshop and parking at ground floor with residential units above, drawing on the boatshed and industrial aesthetic. Novell Tullett's concept followed through in the landscape with furniture and landscape details inspired by the engraved girders, ship skeletons and old fire escapes which could be repurposed from the site.

The contrasting character of the two waterways which enclose the site, the formal harbour and the rerouted river Avon within the New Cut, were further inspiration to our three external areas: The first was new public realm that transformed a narrow, intimidating path into a stronger connection, part of the harbourside path. The second was a small yard which provided outside space for the workshops. The third was a raised courtyard garden above the parking which formed the heart of the residential complex. This interspersed larger communal spaces with intimate seating areas and made the most of views over the harbour.

Architects : Nash Partnership

Key features

  • Reconnecting Bristol’s harbourside walk around a new residential development
  • Terraced spaces for residents, resiting reclaimed artefacts within the planting
  • Biodiverse species, for pollinators, shade trees for parking

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