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Hengrove Leisure Centre Bristol

Client: Bristol City Council / Parkwood Leisure
Team: FoRM Associates ( partners in charge Peter Fink + Rick Rowbotham) + LA Archi¬tects

The scheme design represents an antidotal response to the potential of such a space becoming utilitarian in nature with a harshness matched only by an unforgiving micro-climate. The central thesis involves merging Hengrove Park with the plaza and in so doing creates a spatial hierarchy that fulfils the following key ambitions:

  • Forming a distinctive landform structure as the back bone to spatial enclosure both intimate and expan¬sive
  • Providing contoured embankments allowing DDA compliant access be¬tween the Leisure Centre and the Hospital without the use of retaining walls or steps
  • Presenting green aspects to the both the Leisure Centre and Hospital whilst creating a soft focal point and backdrop to the termination of the central boulevard
  • Delivering the component features as a catalyst to further the ‘sense of place’ characteristic of successful public realm domains. The overall form follows an allegorical representa¬tion of ancient wooded upland spurs meeting lowland flood plains spilling into the space between buildings; in effect drawing the park through the plaza. A series of folds provide sanc¬tuary and intimacy culminating in a broad expanse of paving sufficient to facilitate minor local events.

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