Glassfields is a major redevelopment site located in Bristol’s Temple Quarter and B|D Landscape Architects were appointed by Royal London Asset Management in June 2020 to review the long-term landscape scheme as well as develop a Meanwhile landscape to be situated at the centre of the site.

The client foresaw that the staged development of the four plots might generate disruption to the completed plots 2 and 4. Plot 2 comprises The Distillery, a 90,000sq ft office space and Plot 4 comprises a 200 bed hotel with meeting rooms, coffee shop and gym.

It was our brief to create a high quality and inviting public realm area that achieves a better blend of soft and green landscape that will encourage office staff and visitors to use the area. As a major development RLAM were also seeking to create a harmonised space which delivers a sense of place where people can sit, rest and enjoy.

Our role began by working with the client to identify the most appropriate location for the Meanwhile Park. An initial site visit with the client and on site contractors as well as a review of existing constraints on site such as below ground services and vehicle tracking helped to inform the final location.

The location of the Meanwhile Park has therefore been carefully considered, being located centrally within the site with clear access from adjacent pedestrian routes as well as from the adjoining Hotel and offices. Therefore maximising the impact of the landscape on an otherwise brownfield site.

The client’s brief for the Meanwhile site which was to include flexible space for small pop-up events and to maximise the visual impact of soft and hard landscape materials so to create a vibrant central space; which crucially provides a green outlook from Plots 2 and 4. Further to this, the vision for Glassfields site has been inspired by local character with the site being located adjacent to the historic Gardener Haskins building.

Together we worked with the client to develop a masterplan which is locally inspired and biodiverse. The landscape design aimed to connect with both the history and future of Glassfields and help to define and reactivate the landscape while the remaining plots are built out.

Glassfields Meanwhile Park forms a much-needed green oasis within a lively part of Bristol. Visitors are able to escape the busy streets and find breathing space amongst wildflower meadows and sensory planting.

Whilst high quality bespoke furniture elements bring a sense of purpose and comfort, encouraging people to spend time within the park and return with friends. Bespoke Wayfinding elements and playful paths lead visitors into a central event space which has been inspired by the local connection with glass blowing and bottle making. Two large bespoke corten benches were designed in collaboration with a local artist and help to enclose the central space which is brough to life by up-lit bespoke channels and a Gobo projector.

The design finds a balance between temporary installations and more permanent pieces which will one day be used in the final Glassfields Masterplan; we hope these items will help define the Meanwhile Park as well as help to instil a sense of place; locally inspired and manufactured.

The scheme gained planning permission in March 2021 was completed in early 2022 and was a finalist in ‘Excellence in Place Regeneration’ award at the 2022 Landscape Institute awards and formed part of the nationwide ‘People | Place | Nature’ tour of exemplar public realm precedents.

“The project overcomes the site challenges in a creative way and with panache whilst bringing together people and nature, pushing the benefits of what can we achieved in a meanwhile park.

It’s a commendable effort given the available budget, provides a functional, thoughtful and beautiful space in an environmentally sensitive way.

Glassfields maximises the opportunity for local regeneration through a vibrant meanwhile space.” Judges comments from 2022 award

We think this innovative meanwhile project deserves to win a LILA award because it has acted as a catalyst for creating accessible social public realm spaces in the Bristol neighbourhood and a biophilic playable landscape that should form the basis for enhancing projects sites across the UK and World.

Project location Bristol, UK

Design Year: 2021

Year completed: 2022

Photo credits: Jack Hobouse + B|D landscape architects

Manufacturer of urban or play equipment:

King & Webbon – bespoke street furniture
Rank Engineering – corten channels + lighting
Chris Nangle – monolithic seating
Artwork Solutions – bespoke hoarding


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