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St Mary Redcliffe Project 450 Planning Pre-App

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St Mary Redcliffe - PROJECT 450

Pre-Application Submission

November 2020


BELFAST

+44 (0)28 9046 9400

B1.11 Portview

310 Newtownards Road

Belfast

BT4 1HE

info@hallmcknight.com

www.hallmcknight.com

LONDON

+44 (0)20 3567 1240

Unit 7.G.2 Leathermarket

11/13 Weston Street

London

SE1 3ER

info@hallmcknight.com

www.hallmcknight.com

RIBA Stage 2 Proposals © Purcell

All other content © Hall McKnight


FOREWORD

WHAT IS PROJECT 450?

When Queen Elizabeth visited Bristol in 1574 she remarked of St Mary

Redcliffe: the fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in all

England. Not surprisingly, we’ve been dining out on that ever since.

Project 450 takes its name from the upcoming anniversary of this visit and

the date of 2024, by which we hope to have consolidated our vision into a

sustainable, deliverable project to transform St Mary Redcliffe’s offer to its

community, congregation, and visitors, alike.

This project has been in development since 2008, when the notion of

having no truly equitable approach to the church became untenable. Since

then, we have discerned that these barriers to physical access are, in

many ways, symbolic of the challenge to enable rewarding engagement

with the church by people of all faiths and none. Our vision is therefore to

be ‘Singing the song of faith and justice’:

• as a thriving, inclusive Christian community;

• as a recognised, welcoming heritage destination;

• as a church that makes a difference in the parish and beyond;

• all animated by a progressive and sustainable organisation.

And now, notwithstanding coronavirus, congregational numbers are

increasing, our children’s / youth ministry is growing, and we are

developing work with local schools, significant outreach into the parish,

and a deepening understanding of the breadth, depth and significance of

our heritage assets. Theologically speaking, the project has become firmly

rooted in the life of a Christian community, growing both in numbers

and in confidence in its vocation, constantly reflecting on its mission as

an historic parish church, its ministry to the ‘parish and beyond’ and

responding to a vision which is ever expanding.

Alongside that, there are twelve sizeable building projects within half a

mile (800m) of the church which will significantly increase the number of

resident parishioners; two major infrastructure projects within yards of

the church (Temple Meads and Redcliffe Wharf); and the high probability

of a complete new neighbourhood being built to our immediate north

(Redcliffe Way).

This is the change, within the church and the local area, to which this

project is seeking to respond. And we could leave it at that: as a series

of interventions that will serve the needs of a changing church and a

changing neighbourhood. But it is more than that.

St Mary Redcliffe, courtesy of Ian Richley (above) and Emma Whitfield-Wicks (below)

Redcliffe is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the city. Indeed, it

contains a Super Output Area just south of the church building which is in

the top 3% of most deprived neighbourhoods in the country and in the top

1% for children living in households of poverty 1 . This is the area of focus

when considering how we are ‘a church that makes a difference in the

parish’.

Historically, like many churches, our engagement with the parish has

been rather haphazard: we have done some very good work when money

has been available or when a small group has had the drive to get

something done. But money has not always been available and thus, like

many churches, our engagements had the feel of parachuting work in

when money was available but helicoptering it out when funds dwindled.

Project 450 offers us the opportunity to radically transform this model of

funding and thus radically transform the form, scale and sustainability of

our engagement in the parish.

Consequently, the primary aim of Project 450 is to change this underlying

narrative and enable this radical transformation. If we are to fund and

maintain responsive and flexible engagement work in the parish we need

to move away from seeking funds from grant making trusts or from PCC

sources when funds allow; and embrace the challenge of generating

the income we need by increasing the number of people that cross the

threshold of the church, by providing visitors with a better experience and

more opportunities to donate and to spend, and by expanding commercial

activity both in the new interventions and within the church itself.

Thus, Project 450 is no longer about solely physical access, but rather a

transformation of our offer, to generate a funding model which will enable

us to transform our engagement with the parish to one that is sustained

and sustainable: in short, serving our parish better by serving our visitors

better.

Canon Dan Tyndall

Vicar of St Mary Redcliffe

1

‘Deprivation in Bristol 2015’, Bristol City Council, November 2015

3


INTRODUCTION

CONTENTS

This Pre-Application Enquiry has been prepared following initial engagement

during September 2020 with:

Zoe Willcox

Peter Westbury

Simon Cowley

Marc Cooper

BCC Director of Planning & Sustainable Development

BCC Team Manager, Major Developments

BCC Policy Advisor to the Mayor

BCC Project Manager for Redcliffe Way

It seeks to outline the emerging proposals for Project 450, the new

Congregation, Visitor, and Interpretation Facilities at St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol.

Developed since the International Design Competition of 2016, and supported

by extensive analysis of both project need and opportunity, Project 450 currently

sits at RIBA Stage 2. Throughout the project’s design development, frequent

consultation has been undertaken, including both Public events in the church,

and engagement with key Stakeholders, such as:

Bristol City Council & Bristol Conservation Advisory Panel

The Diocese of Bristol & Bristol Diocesan Advisory Committee

Bristol Civic Society

The Church Buildings Council

Historic England

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

Summarising both the design development to date, and the anticipated next

steps, this document has been produced to facilitate further dialogue. The

proposals depicted are necessarily outline in nature but, in accordance with

the outcomes of the September 2020 meeting, we welcome the opportunity to

engage with BCC to seek feedback on both the emerging Planning Principles

and Site Strategy, prior to the development of more-detailed proposals.

SECTION

1.0 Project Summary

1.1 Background

1.2 Timeline

1.3 Needs & Opportunities

2.0 Site Context

2.1 Site Location

2.2 Development Context

2.3 Historic Evolution

2.4 Significance

2.5 Ecclesiastical Exemption

3.0 Proposals

3.1 Strategic Aims - Social & Urban Objectives

3.2 RIBA 2 Scheme

3.3 Consultations & Feedback

3.4 Emerging Ideas - Use & Interpretation

3.5 Emerging Ideas - Architectural Approach

3.6 Emerging Ideas - Planning Principles

4.0 Conclusion

5.0 Appendix

5.1 Summary of Research To-Date

PAGE NO

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07

09

10

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14

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21

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41

43

44

Dan Talkes RIBA AABC

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5


1

Project Summary

1.1 Background

1.2 Timeline

1.3 Needs & Opportunities

6


1.0 PROJECT SUMMARY

1.1 BACKGROUND

St Mary Redcliffe sits on a socio-economic faultline between the relative

affluence of North Redcliffe and the deprivation of the South. This social

fragmentation is manifest also in the physical context, the church,

although once embedded in its community, now surrounded by dual

carriageways that both reinforce its experiential isolation and deny its

historic authenticity.

P450 seeks to repair this relationship, re-stitching the divide to reinforce

the church as the physical, social, and spiritual heart of contemporary

Redcliffe. To do so requires both urban recontextualisation, and the

creation of new and enhanced facilities appropriate to the diverse needs of

St Mary Redcliffe’s congregation and community.

‘One of the finest, most original Gothic buildings in the UK, St

Mary Redcliffe could repay days of exploration all by itself, but

as an urban structure it has no foil, it just sits there, surrounded

by traffic, the church-as-traffic-island’.

Hatherley (2012)

North Redcliffe

Redcliffe Way

Faultline

South Redcliffe

The Physical, Experiential & Socio-Economic Faultline of Redcliffe Way

An Aerial View of St Mary Redcliffe

7


1.0 PROJECT SUMMARY

1.1 BACKGROUND

4.

1. St Mary Redcliffe (BCC Library Collections) 2. Temple Church (Facey Collection)

Ruined during the Bristol Blitz of 1940 / 41

1. 2.

3.

3. St John’s, Bedminster (Facey Collection)

Ruined in the Bristol Blitz of 1940 / 41

Demolished 1967

4. St Thomas’ Church (Loxton Collection)

Closed in 1979 and now in the care of the

Churches Conservation Trust

The historic Parish Boundary of St Mary Redcliffe

The Parish of St Mary Redcliffe (BCC)

The contemporary Parish Boundary of St Mary Redcliffe, derived by the

amalgamation of the historic parishes indicated above

8


1.0 PROJECT SUMMARY

Although pre-dated by a substantial body of analytical work, P450 has

its origins in an international design competition undertaken by St Mary

Redcliffe in 2016.

Whilst the competition sought to find ‘The Team, not The Scheme’, it

nevertheless required the development of a comprehensive architectural

proposal. The spatial brief was extremely ambitious and, in our

assessment, dictated proposals that were too large and too detrimental to

the setting of St Mary Redcliffe.

Following the competition, our work therefore focussed on betterunderstanding

the project needs and opportunities. Ultimately, this

analysis produced a reduced spatial brief, and a series of new ideas that,

shared with the public and key stakeholders in 2018, have formed the

basis for the RIBA 2 Scheme.

Further consultation has been undertaken on this Concept Design, with

the resulting feedback serving to inform the Strategic Planning Principles

summarised in this document.

Subject to the outcome of this Pre-Application Enquiry, it is hoped to

develop these initial ideas to enable applications for both Planning and

Faculty Approval in Q3 2021.

An Aerial View of the Competition Scheme (Purcell)

Design Competition

Options Appraisal

Public & Stakeholder

Consultations

RIBA 1 Concept Design

Public & Stakeholder

Consultations

RIBA 2 Initial Design

Public & Stakeholder

Consultations

Pre-Application Enquiry

RIBA 3 Developed Design

Initial Research

Review of Project Needs

& Opportunities

Feasibility Assessment

Specialist Inputs

Response to Feedback

Design

Development

2016

2018

2019

2020

2020

Q3

2021

Q3

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1.0 PROJECT SUMMARY

1.3 NEEDS & OPPORTUNITIES

To better understand the needs and opportunities of St Mary Redcliffe, a

series of specialist studies have been undertaken, including:

Heritage Asset Review

Interpretation Strategy

Community Consultation

Heritage Business Plan

Rita McLean Heritage Consultant

Imagemakers

Vivid Regeneration

Glevum Heritage Consulting

VISION

PURPOSE

Singing the Song of Faith and Justice

As:

WHO FOR?

those who are here

those who will be here, and

those who visit here

Conducted alongside both staff interviews and a congregation

questionnaire, these studies have defined the following project objectives:

a thriving, inclusive Christian community

a recognised, welcoming heritage destination

• increased physical, intellectual, and spiritual access for all;

• improved congregation facilities, including private spaces for pastoral

care;

a church that makes a difference in the parish and beyond

all animated by a progressive and sustainable organisation

WHY?

to serve our community better,

we must serve our visitors better

• dedicated space for volunteer activities to increase local community

engagement;

• improved Vestry and Clergy Vestry facilities;

• enhanced Choir support facilities, ensuring compliance with

safeguarding requirements;

• a dedicated education space to improve the church’s schools and

community education offer and also support a growing Sunday

School;

• improved collections storage;

• dedicated exhibition space to enable the interpretation of the church’s

many rich narratives, and achieve an increase in visitor numbers from

a current average of 45,000 / annum to 140,000 / annum;

• enhanced visitor reception facilities, including a new catering and

retail offer to increase visitor spend from an average of £0.33 / head to

£1.00 / head;

• dedicated events space to facilitate community meetings, wedding

receptions, etc;

• an operating surplus to both improve operational sustainability and

enable more effective community engagement.

Drawing these project objectives together, Canon Dan Tyndall has

produced the following Summary Vision and Purpose to inform the

development of a more detailed Statement of Need:

10


2

Site Context

2.1 Location

2.2 Development Context

2.3 Historic Evolution

2.4 Significance

2.5 Ecclesiastical Exemption

11


2.0 SITE CONTEXT

2.1 LOCATION

Once a separate settlement within the county of Somerset, Redcliffe now

forms a central district of Bristol. An island, bounded by the Floating

Harbour to the north, east and west, and the New Cut to the south,

Redcliffe has a unique and specific relationship with the merchant-trading

history of the city.

St Mary Redcliffe, itself, is located to the south of Redcliffe Way, its

western boundary defined by Redcliff Hill. The church is therefore

encircled by dual carriageways that substantially diminish its setting.

TO THE CITY CENTRE

Furthermore, these roads sever the church from the remaining fragments

of historic context, including the ‘red cliff’ sandstone exposure from which

the area takes it name. As a consequence, the church setting appears

isolated, fragmented and illegible.

Indeed, combined with a challenging 5m level change from Redcliffe Way

to nave level, the noisy and polluting presence of the roads generates a

bleak and brutal approach that impacts directly on St Mary Redcliffe’s

capacity to engage both visitors to the city and its local community.

TO TEMPLE MEADS

Yet, despite these constraints, the church occupies a pivotal position on

the east - west axis of the Brunel Mile, between Temple Meads and the

city. In proximity to the soon-to-be redeveloped Redcliffe Wharf, it also

provides a gateway to the Floating Harbour’s ‘south shore’, suggesting

a potential visitor route engaging with other key heritage destinations,

including Temple Meads, Chatterton House, The Quaker Burial Ground,

Redcliffe Caves, Bathurst Basin, M-Shed, and SS Great Britain.

TO SOUTH BRISTOL

Location Plan

12


2.0 SITE CONTEXT

2.2 DEVELOPMENT CONTEXT

Redcliffe Way

The immediate context of St Mary Redcliffe displays significant change

over time, with much of its contemporary urban structure reflecting

regrettable highways decisions from the immediate pre and post-war

periods. Indeed, the consequent fragmentation of Redcliffe’s historic grain

has produced a series of incoherent and inhospitable spaces, dominated

by traffic and surface parking, within which pedestrians are made

subservient to vehicles.

The need for Redcliffe’s urban repair has long-since been recognised

and has been championed by the community-based Redcliffe Futures

Group and the subsequent Redcliffe Neighbourhood Development Forum

who have engaged with BCC to produce the 2006 Future of Redcliffe

Supplementary Planning Document, and the draft 2016 Redcliffe

Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Further illustrated overleaf, and with respect to St Mary Redcliffe, both of

these documents have strongly advocated the:

• down-sizing of Redcliffe Way to remove the last vestiges of the

disastrous inner ring road, following the restoration of Queen’s

Square in 1992, and the demolition of the Temple Meads flyover in

1998;

• redevelopment of the existing surface car-park to provide the ‘heart’

of Redcliffe, through mixed-use, granular development;

• creation of a fitting setting for St Mary Redcliffe.

Whilst the redevelopment of Redcliffe Way is clearly subject to its own

timescales, the need for close coordination with P450 is recognised.

Indeed, alongside representatives of BCC and fellow members of the

Redcliffe Forum, Dan Tyndall (vicar of St Mary Redcliffe) is a key member

of the Redcliffe Way Joint Delivery Board, and Redcliffe Forum have

been consulted frequently through P450’s stakeholder engagement

programme.

Redcliffe

Beyond the immediate setting of St Mary Redcliffe, a number of

substantial residential and mixed use developments are either underway

or proposed within Redcliffe, including:

• Bristol General Hospital;

Redcliffe Wharf;

• Redcliff Quarter;

• Finzels Reach.

Combined, these developments are anticipated to deliver:

• 1,190 residential units;

• 2 hotels;

• numerous restaurants and bars;

• a significant quantum of work-space.

Temple Quarter

To the east of Redcliffe, Temple Quarter is a 100 hectare urban

development site and Enterprise Zone. Focussed around the translation

of Temple Meads into a sustainable, multi-modal Transport Hub, it is

anticipated to deliver:

• a new city quarter;

• a university campus, including residential accommodation for 1,500

students;

• 4,500 residential units;

• an innovation hub, with a focus on high-tech, low-carbon, creative and

digital industries;

• a secondary school;

• substantial additional workplace and leisure facilities, generating

22,000 new jobs;

• greenways, providing pedestrian and cycling routes to the existing

communities in South-East Bristol.

Consequently, the physical and socio-economic context of Redcliffe is

changing dramatically, with:

• the number of people living and / or working in Redcliffe set to

increase by circa 15,000 and 30,000 respectively;

• a consequently increased demand on the parish and its resources;

• a renewed focus on the city’s eastern gateway, and St Mary Redcliffe’s

role in the creation of a legible urban welcome from the reorientated

Temple Meads;

• a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to reinforce St Mary Redcliffe’s

presence at the physical, social, and spiritual heart of the Redcliffe

community.

Redcliffe Wharf - Complex Development Projects Redcliff Quarter - Change Real Estate Temple Quarter University Campus - FCBS

13


2.0 SITE CONTEXT

2.2 DEVELOPMENT CONTEXT

14

An Illustrative Vision for the Repair of Redcliffe Way (Redcliffe Neighbourhood Forum)


2.0 SITE CONTEXT

2.2 DEVELOPMENT CONTEXT

A Current View of Redcliffe Way, indicating the isolation of St Mary Redcliffe & the

dominance of the existing dual carriageway (Redcliffe Neighbourhood Forum)

The Redcliffe Neighbourhood Forum’s Vision for Redcliffe Way, indicating the reduction

of the road, improved public realm and replacement of surface carparks with spaces for

community, living, and working (Redcliffe Neighbourhood Forum / LDA Design)

15


2.0 SITE CONTEXT

2.3 HISTORIC EVOLUTION

The historic evolution of Redcliffe, and St Mary Redcliffe in particular, is

extraordinarily rich and varied. It is beyond the scope of this document to

provide anything other than a summary overview but, in both doing so and

evolving the current proposals, reference has been to the following key

sources:

Redcliffe Conservation Area Appraisal BCC

St Mary Redcliffe Conservation Management Plan Michael Drury

Redcliffe Heritage Observations Robert Bevan

Redcliffe Mansion House Report Roger Leech

St Mary Redcliffe Historic Landscape Survey Pearson Assoc

Historic Summary

In 1373, Redcliffe, formerly a distinct settlement within the County of

Somerset, was absorbed into the city of Bristol. It consisted of the church

of St Mary Redcliffe, located upon the red sandstone outcrop of the ‘red

cliff’ surrounded by lower-lying streets of narrow burgage plots, fronted by

merchants’ houses, with workshops to the rear.

This pattern appears long-established, the earliest extant elements of St

Mary Redcliffe dating from C12, although it is of course possible that an

earlier church stood on the site.

However, most of the church’s fabric dates from C14 and C15 when, due

to both industrial processes and the increased importance of Bristol

as a trading port, Redcliffe became home to many wealthy merchants,

including William Canynges II, by whose benefaction much of St Mary

Redcliffe was rebuilt at this time.

During this period, Redcliffe also became associated with maritime

voyage and expansion, a pattern that arguably began with John Cabot’s

1497 voyage to discover Newfoundland and the North American Continent

and, through C16-C18, Bristol’s involvement in the early colonialisation

of the Caribbean and Americas, the import and processing of colonial

goods, including sugar, tobacco, and coffee, and its subsequent role in the

‘Triangular Trade’ of Transatlantic Slavery.

The first recognisably cartographic depiction of St Mary Redcliffe dates

from this period, in the form of Rocques’ Map of mid-C18. Referring to this

and subsequent historic maps, it can be seen that:

1742

• the south churchyard is recognisably similar to its contemporary

form but contains an additional pathway from the south-west to the

north-east, presumably providing a route to the Processional Way; a

structure to the south-west of the west front, known to have been a

C13 chantry chapel, converted in C16 to provide ‘Queen Elizabeth’s

Free School’; a walled garden between the south porch and south

transept, believed to have been the headmaster’s garden;

• the north churchyard is of a much smaller scale with buildings in

close proximity to the church’s north elevation and extending beyond

the west front;

• the north porch is accessed solely by steps from the west;

• Redcliff Hill is markedly narrower than its current form, with a

consistent line of buildings in close proximity to the church’s west

elevation;

• The first terrace of C18 merchants’ houses has been built in Guinea

Street.

1828

• the south churchyard has been altered by the demolition of the former

chantry chapel, and the realignment of the south-western pathway to

terminate on the south porch;

• the north churchyard boundary appears to have been formalised

but buildings remain in very close proximity to the church’s north

elevation;

• the gentrification of Redcliffe, facilitated in no small part by

transatlantic slavery, has continued in the creation of Colston Parade

and Redcliffe Parade.

Indeed, the wealth generated by this ‘morally monstrous destruction of

human possibility’ is found in the merchant houses of Redcliffe Parade,

Guinea Street, and Colston Parade, the production of Guinea Goods in the

glass and pottery works of Prewett St, Redcliffe Wharf, and Portwall Lane,

and in St Mary Redcliffe’s association with slave traders and owners,

including Colston, Saunders, King, Lawford, Yeamans, Vickris, and others.

16

All maps extracted from BCC Know Your Place Website


2.0 SITE CONTEXT

2.3 HISTORIC EVOLUTION

1900

• coinciding broadly with Godwin’s C19 restoration of St Mary Redcliffe,

the buildings to the north of the church have been cleared and

Phippen Street (1850) created as a crescent connecting the base of

Redcliff Hill with Thomas Street;

• the infilling of Redcliff Pit, perhaps necessitated by the introduction

of trams along Redcliff Hill, has reduced the level change between

the street and north porch, leading to the concealment of the north

churchyard boundary wall and the reconfiguration of the porch’s

stepped approach;

• to the east of the church, the south side of Pile Street has been

cleared to create an industrial works, with railway sidings terminating

at the church’s east end;

• the harbour railway has also been created, with a tunnel extending

below the south churchyard to provide a connection to Temple Meads.

In relation to the current context of St Mary Redcliffe, it can therefore be

seen that the:

• south churchyard represents the most intact component of the

church’s setting, yet still records both change over time and the

presence of built structures in proximity to the church;

• church was, until, mid-late C20 embedded in its community;

• visual exposure of the entire north elevation is a C20 construct,

arising from highways decisions; even in the mid-late C19 the form

of Redcliff Hill and Phippen Street would have presented captured

glimpses, rather than elevational totality;

• late C19 and C20 reconfiguration of the steps to the north porch has

undermined the historic primacy of the west end;

• widening of Redcliff Hill and creation of Redcliffe Way has severed

Redcliffe, isolating the church on an experiential traffic-island;

• post-war developments have created a fragmentary grain that

diminishes both streetscape and urban legibility, producing a hostile

and unwelcoming public realm.

1949

• Oatley’s undercroft (1941) has been constructed at the base of the

north porch, leading to a further reconfiguration of the porch’s

stepped approach;

• Phippen Street has been truncated to enable the creation of Redcliffe

Way (1936), as a segment of the Inner Circuit Road, and is earmarked

for complete demolition to form the surface carpark;

Redcliffe has suffered significant Blitz damage, although arguably

more damaging still are the proposals to widen Redcliff Hill (shown

red), necessitating the demolition of the entire west side of the street,

including the at-least nationally significant Lead Shot Tower, and the

comprehensive clearance of South Redcliffe (shown yellow) to create

the social housing estates of Francombe House (1960) and Prewett

Street (1955-66).

17


2.0 SITE CONTEXT

2.3 HISTORIC EVOLUTION

1 2 3

4 5 6

1. The ‘great ascent’ to the North Porch

2. The Three Cups & Salmon, Redcliffe Pit

3. The North Churchyard Boundary Wall

4. Pile Street

5. A yard in front of the North Transept

6. Redcliff Pit with the Shot Tower in the background

Image 1, SMR Archives - circa 1812

Images 2-6, BCC Braikenridge Collection - circa 1828

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2.0 SITE CONTEXT

2.4 SIGNIFICANCE

Fabric Significance

St Mary Redcliffe is a Grade I Listed Building (List Entry Number: 1218848)

of international architectural significance.

The earliest extant element is the Late C12 Early English Gothic inner

North Porch, with the remainder of the church a celebrated example of

the C14 and C15 Perpendicular Gothic that is characterised by a soaring

verticality, emphasised by extended mullions, crenellated transoms, and

crocketed pinnacles.

Of particular note is the C14 outer North Porch that displays an extremely

unusual hexagonal plan, with an axial north door, and diagonally-placed

subsidiary doors to the south-east and north-west. The resolution of

these is unclear since, whilst the principal north entrance has always

been approached by steps - first from the west front, and more recently

from the north - both Lyon’s plan of 1717, and Wild’s plan of 1812 indicate

significantly lower ground to the exterior of these openings, as is also

evidenced by Shepherd’s north-west view from 1812 (fig 1, on previous

page).

Undercroft and podium to the North Porch, the further reconfiguration

of the associated steps, and excavation below the Lady Chapel to form a

Strong-room adjacent to the C15 Processional Way.

All of these matters are considered in significantly more detail within the

Conservation Management Plan (Drury 2003), to which attention is drawn.

Urban Significance

As noted within Section 2.3, the setting of St Mary Redcliffe, and

particularly its north side display considerable change over time.

Nevertheless, in addition to the church’s significance, with the adjacent

and largely intact Colston Parade, it has collective evidential value in its

representation of the substantially lost historic character of Redcliffe.

This is reflected by the site’s inclusion at the south-eastern corner of the

Redcliffe Conservation Area (BCC CA 19).

Additionally, almost the entire exterior is given over to intricate statue

niches such that, roundels aside, what might otherwise have been tracery

windows are instead blind. Combined with the decorated and hooded

cinquefoil north door, the composition is highly unusual and, whilst there

is certainly not consensus on this point (see Cannon, 2015), some have

suggested that these elements may reflect Moorish influence, perhaps

arising from Bristol’s already extensive trade links at this time.

Also of note is the Tower and Spire that, perhaps unusually, are located in

the north-west angle, abutting the North Porch, rather than axially at the

west end of the Nave, as might be expected. For this, there are multiple

hypotheses - including the possibility of a monumental west entrance,

and the proximity of the previously-mentioned C13 chantry chapel -

but, as Rodwell (2003) has noted, the Tower’s north-south dimension

exactly matches the width of the Nave, affording the possibility that it

was designed to abut the Nave’s west end but, for reasons unknown,

constructed instead in its current position.

Either way, the Tower is largely Late C13, with some C14 work associated

with its original Spire that, destroyed by a lightning strike in 1446,

remained truncated to only a single stage, until 1872 when it was

reinstated to its current height during Godfrey’s restoration.

These works were followed by Oatley’s restoration of 1927-33 and 1941

that accounts for, amongst other interventions, the creation of the

The Curtilage of St Mary Redcliffe

The Redcliffe Conservation Area

The North Porch

The Redcliffe Conservation Area

19


2.0 SITE CONTEXT

2.4 SIGNIFICANCE

Urban Significance (continued)

Within BCC’s accompanying Conservation Area Character Appraisal (2008

SPD), St Mary Redcliffe is designated as a Landmark Building, subject

to key views from both within and without the Conservation Area, as

indicated (paragraphs 6.2.4 & 6.3.3).

The Character Appraisal also identifies both the north and south

churchyards as Informal Green Space and, whilst acknowledging as a

‘Main Issue affecting the Conservation Area’ that:

‘Post-war road layouts create separation between parts of the

Conservation Area [and] the loss of traditional street patterns and plot

boundaries’ (paragraph 4.5)

It also states that:

‘The former burial grounds around St Mary Redcliffe [as] pockets of

landscape provide vital alleviation to the scale and built form of the

Conservation Area’ (6.1.7)

Planning Policy Context

In relation to these themes, the key planning policy considerations that

have informed our design approach are:

‘The city council will seek to maintain and strengthen the

traditional form of individual streets. There will be a

presumption in favour of preserving any archaeoloigcal

features, whether scheduled or not. Policy B22 (I-II) should be

consulted.’

Green Space within the Redcliffe Conservation Area

Views within the Redcliffe Conservation Area

‘Dominant street pattern and the character of spaces should be

respected. Where historic patterns remain, these should be

protected and reflected in proposed schemes. Policy B15 (I-III)

should be consulted.’

‘Development should be designed with regard to the local

context. Proposals, which would cause unacceptable harm to the

character and / or appearance of an area, or to the visual impact

of historic buildings, views or landmarks, will not be permitted.

Policy B2 (I-IV) should be consulted.’

‘Original architectural features, materials and detail are vital to

the character of the Conservation Area.’

St Mary Redcliffe

The Redcliffe Conservation Area

Designated Informal Green Space

Designated Long View

Designated Local View

All CA Maps extracted from BCC

Conservation Area Character

Appraisal

20


2.0 SITE CONTEXT

2.5 ECCLESIASTICAL EXEMPTION

In accordance with the provisions of the Ecclesiastical Exemption Order

2010, St Mary Redcliffe is exempt from the requirement to apply for Listed

Building Consent (or Conservation Area Consent).

1 2

Whilst Planning Permission is required, the specific elements of

conservation and heritage intervention will therefore be assessed by

means of the Faculty process, under the auspices of the Bristol Diocesan

Advisory Committee (DAC).

In addition to this Pre-Application Enquiry (and as summarised within

Section 3.3) in developing these proposals, extensive consultation has

already taken place with:

• Bristol Diocesan Advisory Committee

• The Church Buildings Council

And, as consultation is anticipated through the secular planning process,

also with:

• Historic England

• SPAB

• BCC Conservation Advisory Panel

Furthermore, in light of the scope and ambition of P450, and despite being

a parish church, St Mary Redcliffe has been invited to engage with the

Cathedrals Support Panel to benefit from its expert advisors’ experience

of similarly-scaled capital projects.

3

1. View from Redcliff Street

2. View from Redcliffe Wharf

3. View from Pump Lane

All Images, BCC Braikenridge Collection - circa 1828

21


3

Proposals

3.1 Strategic Aims - Social & Urban Objectives

3.2 RIBA 2 Scheme

3.3 Stakeholder Feedback

3.4 Emerging Ideas - Use & Interpretation

3.5 Emerging Ideas - Architectural Approach

3.6 Emerging Ideas - Planning Principles

22


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.1 STRATEGIC AIMS - SOCIAL & URBAN OBJECTIVES

Emerging from the contextual analysis in Section 2, and derived from Redcliffe’s social and urban needs, P450 combines the following strategic

objectives, mediating between the scale of the city, community, and individual:

Re-stitching

North and South Redcliffe

Creating a pair of linked buildings, social and temporal ‘stitches’, to repair

the fragmentation of the site, and reinforce St Mary Redcliffe as the

physical and experiential heart of the community.

Re-deeming

physical, intellectual, and spiritual access for all

Providing an equitable and accessible place to enable multi-layered

engagement with St Mary Redcliffe by people of all faiths and none.

Re-connecting

the south shore

Recognising St Mary Redcliffe’s role in the creation of a legible urban

gateway between Temple Meads , the City, and the Floating Harbour’s

historic south shore.

Re-membering

the ‘red cliff’

Reinstating the red cliff as the literal and metaphorical foundation of the

church, conceptually renewing the topographic bond with Redcliffe Wharf

to remember St Mary Redcliffe’s maritime past.

Re-pairing

the streetscape

Reflecting the historic precedent of Pile Street to recall the close

juxtaposition that once embedded St Mary Redcliffe in its community.

23


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.2 RIBA 2 SCHEME

11

13

Responding to P450’s urban and social objectives, the RIBA 2

Scheme formed the basis for the most recent public and stakeholder

consultations.

A summary of the feedback received can be found in Section 3.3 but, in

outline, the scheme generates interlinked single-storey buildings within

both the north and south churchyards and, in doing so, creates the

conceptual ‘stitch’ between North and South Redcliffe.

4

2

3

1

5

6

8

7

9 10

12

17

20 19 18

14

15

16

The buildings can be summarised as follows:

The Northside Visitor Building:

• utilises the existing 5m level change between Redcliffe Way and the

Nave to locate the required accommodation entirely at Undercroft

level, below the cills to the existing tracery windows;

• forms a new base to the church that, expressed in red sandstone

ashlar, forms a conceptual extrusion of the ‘red-cliff’, elucidating the

church’s history and visually reconnecting it with the harbour;

• otherwise adopts the church’s secondary materiality, utilising a

grey Pennant stone to match the existing boundary and retaining

structures at Undercroft level;

• presents a permeable enclosure, including an open colonnade that

derives from the rhythm of the North Transept’s buttresses to provide

a protective threshold to the enclosed courtyard beyond;

• encapsulates Oatley’s 1940s Undercroft to both enable its retention

and overcome historic issues of rainwater ingress;

• provides a series of alternative approaches, including reconfigured

steps to the North Porch and new entrances to the Undercroft from

both the north and west, achieving - for the first time - access for all;

• translates the 1940s Undercroft into a new welcome space,

incorporating temporary exhibition and retail spaces, alongside

discreetly-located, fully accessible, WCs;

• additionally provides a new cafe, carefully-screened from the welcome

space by the existing pointed arches of the Undercroft, and partially

enclosed by the excavated historic boundary wall of the north

churchyard;

• locates a lift and stair discreetly between the North Porch and North

Transept that, via a half-rise, first gives access to the C14 Crypt,

before rising to connect to a new, fully-reversible opening to the North

Aisle that, located below the cill of the tracery window above, provides

Nave-level access for all;

1 Welcome

2 Shop

3 Shop Store

4 WCs

5 Cafe

6 Servery

7 External Courtyard

8 Exhibition Space

9 Temporary Exhibition Space

10 Hogarth Gallery

11 Curator’s Office

12 Choir Vestry

13 Choir Master’s Office

14 Choir Break-Out

15 Choir Robing

16 Choir WCs

17 Vestry Storage

18 Clergy Vestry

19 Vestry Back Office

20 Volunteer Space

24

Undercroft Level


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.2 RIBA 2 SCHEME

Consistent with the previously shared ideas, the current proposals provide

single-storey buildings, extending from the South Churchyard to Redcliffe W

to create a ‘stitch’ between the communities of North and South Redcliffe

• assumes the relocation of the existing Choir Vestry to a new facility,

with improved practice, welfare and robing provision, and dedicated,

secure access from Pump Lane;

• there-by enables the C14 Crypt’s use as an exhibition space, to

both enable public access to its historically-significant interior,

and consciously reference its apparent historic function of Church

Treasury;

• provides a dedicated, environmentally-controlled Hogarth gallery

that, accessed via Canynges Kitchen, is deliberately composed as a

quadrangular ‘in-fill’ to enable its later construction and therefore

remove from the critical path the decision on whether or not to return

Hogarth’s C18 Triptych to St Mary Redcliffe from its current location in

St Nicholas’ Church;

• creates alongside the new Choir Vestry, a Clergy Vestry and Vestry

‘back-office’ that link to Nave-level via a new stair and lift, reusing an

existing C20 internal opening, in an area already subject to substantial

C19 renewal (Sampson 2014).

Sketch Model from the North

The buildings may be summarised as follows:

Northside Visitor Reception

• Encapsulating and retaining the existing 1940s Undercroft

• Providing enhance visitor and congregation facilities, including a new Welco

Space, fully-accessible WCs, and a new Cafe

• Linking to the North Aisle, via a new lift and stair to provide access-for

to Nave level

• Providing a new, dedicated Choir Vestry with enhanced facilities and

carefully-attuned acoustic, to enable the existing C14 Undercroft to retu

to its apparent historic function of Church Treasury, in the form of a n

Exhibition Space

• Placing alongside the Choir Vestry a series of ecclesiastical support spac

including a Clergy Vestry, Vestry, and Robing Spaces

• Exploiting the 5m level change between Redcliffe Way and Nave Level

locate entirely at Undercroft level, below the tracery windows to form

new base that, expressed in red sandstone, consciously references the ‘r

cliff’ to reconnect the church to its history and context

South Churchyard Education Space

• Utilising the existing Priest’s Door to locate a new Sunday School a

Learning Space between the South Transept and Chancel to better-mana

child protection issues and ensure an experiential connectivity with servi

• Acknowledging the C18 precedent for a walled garden in the So

Churchyard, presents as a ‘hidden’ space, behind a planted masonry wall

South Churchyard Events Space

• Locates with the trees at the Churchyard’s eastern boundary, hovering abo

the ground to minimise root disturbance

• Is deliberately flexible and self-contained to facilitate community meetin

wedding receptions, etc

• Benefits from spectacular views across the south lawn to the church, its

Project Summary

North Elevation

25


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.2 RIBA 2 SCHEME

The South Churchyard Education & Learning Space:

• locates between the South Transept and Chancel, in an area known to

have been substantially re-graded by Oatley in the 1930s;

• appears, from the churchyard itself, to be a planted ashlar wall,

developing from the precedent of the C18 walled garden that once

located against the south elevation;

• utilises the Priest’s Door to link to the Chancel, this route covered by a

simple frameless canopy;

21

• is otherwise placed alongside, but not connected to, the existing

elevation, the resulting interstitial space forming a gravel margin

between new and old to minimise impact to the historic fabric;

• utilises frameless glass for this hidden ‘internal’ elevation, providing

spectacular visual connectivity with the existing fabric;

• thereby provides an extraordinarily rich learning environment that,

experientially connected to the church, enables St Mary Redcliffe

to both accommodate its growing Sunday School, and develop its

educational mission.

22

24

23

In contrast to its more rooted neighbour, the South Churchyard Events

Space:

25

• is aligned with a C19 subterranean room - that the church archives

reveal was explored by Oatley as an alternative location for the 1940s

Undercroft - and located at the churchyard’s upper level is placed on

micro-piles to minimise impact to the existing mature trees, and float

visually above the ground-plane;

• is a deliberately ephemeral, substantially-glazed timber-framed

structure that sits within the trees, diffusing the boundary between

inside and out;

26

27

28

29 31

30

• thereby provides a unique setting for wedding receptions and events

that capitalises on the landscape quality of the south churchyard and

benefits from extraordinary views to the church’s celebrated south

elevation.

21 Lift & Stair to Nave

22 Tower Tours

23 Lift & Stair to Events Space

24 Education Space

25 Courtyard

26 Events Space

27 WCs

28 Servery

29 Warming Kitchen

30 Service Entrance

31 Enclosed Service Yard

26

South Churchyard Level


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.2 RIBA 2 SCHEME

Sketch Model from the South

Sectional South Elevation

27


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.3 CONSULTATION & FEEDBACK

As noted within the Project Timeline (Section 1.2), the proposals have

been evolved within a context of open consultation, engaging with the

public, stakeholders, and interested parties at key intervals through the

design process. Most recently, this has involved a stakeholder event in the

church, and a presentation to BCC’s Conservation Advisory Panel.

Alongside much positive feedback, and universal agreement that the

current scheme is more sensitive and proportionate than any of the

competition schemes, the following advice has been received:

• The loss of greenspace to the north-side is unfortunate.

Opportunities for increased landscape retention should be

explored

CBC, SPAB, BCC CAP

• Set against falling ground, the buildings of the south churchyard

require careful consideration to minimise their impact

CBC

• Any new elements to the north-side should have a horizontal

emphasis to avoid competing with the existing building

CBC, BCC CAP

• Greater emphasis could be placed on the excavated north

churchyard boundary wall

BCC CAP

• The east elevation of the north-side building is potentially inactive.

Opportunities for increased engagement with Pump Lane should

be explored

HE

28

A Consultation Event in the South Transept


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.4 EMERGING IDEAS: USE & INTERPRETATION

3.4.1 LOCAL NEED 3.4.2 BLM, SLAVERY & RACE

Since the completion of the RIBA 2 Scheme, the emergence of Covid 19

has dramatically focussed the project context.

Locally, the economically fragile existence of many of St Mary Redcliffe’s

immediate community has been reinforced, the church responding to this

urgent need through ‘Redcliffe Together’, a community-led project that

develops on the Redcliffe Foodbank to provide:

• continued food provision through the foodbank and food club;

• befriending/mentoring for young people and the elderly;

• an information, advice and guidance service;

• a technology library, providing laptops and internet access for those in

digital poverty.

Funded by a Coronavirus Community Support Fund Grant, distributed

by The National Lottery Community Fund, this project is illustrative of

the acts of community support and engagement that St Mary Redcliffe

seeks to self-fund via P450’s operational surplus, and facilitate within its

community spaces.

More internationally, both the disproportionate impact of Covid 19 on the

BAME community, and concurrent incidences of US police brutality, have

highlighted systemic inequalities, prompting global protests in support of

the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Bristol march culminated, of course, in the highly-symbolic toppling

of the statue of Edward Colston, an event that has prompted significant

reflection in the city, including the:

• renaming of the Colston Hall;

• covering-up of images of Colston in both St Mary Redcliffe and Bristol

Cathedral, and an accompanying public statement from the Diocese;

• disbandment of the Colston Society.

Additionally, these events have brought renewed urgency to the question

of Bristol’s Slavery Legacy and, in its associations with not only Colston,

but also Cabot, King, Lawford, Penn, Saunders, Teaste, Vickris, Yeamans,

and others, St Mary Redcliffe is uniquely-placed to provide an informed,

reflective, and nuanced response to the city’s role in slavery, including:

• maritime exploration and early colonialisation;

• pre-C17 slavery and white indenture;

• the ‘triangular trade’, including the local processing of colonial

products and the manufacture of Guinea Goods;

• Transatlantic Slavery, exploitation and local wealth;

• the paradox of slavery and Christian faith;

• abolition and compensation;

• racism and racial inequality;

• advent of Modern Slavery and the founding of Unseen.

St Mary Redcliffe is currently researching these themes and is keen to

work with others to ensure a city-wide coordination.

Whilst this consultation therefore remains ongoing, in addition to the

obvious requirement for an increased quantum of dedicated exhibition

space, the exploration of these themes offers a fascinating opportunity

to establish a conceptual interplay with the church fabric, creating a safe

space for multi-layered engagement with the challenging and urgent

issues of legacy and cultural representation in the city.

Patterson House, South Redcliffe Colston (Bristol Museums) Yeamans (Bristol Museums) Penn (National Maritime Museum)

29


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.4 EMERGING IDEAS: USE & INTERPRETATION

3.4.3 ROMANTICISM

‘I sought my Cawna, but I sought in vain,

The pallid shadows of the azure waves

Had made my Cawna and my children slaves.’

Chatterton (1784)

The historical links between Transatlantic Slavery and Romanticism are

well established (Carey 2015, Perry 2010, et al) and, in its rich associations

with not only Thomas Chatterton, Robert Southey, Samuel Taylor

Coleridge, and J.M.W Turner, but also the linked city-wide narratives of

Wordsworth, Hannah More, and Ann Yearsley, St Mary Redcliffe offers a

unique opportunity to engage with the culture, aesthetics, and abolitionist

literature of the Romantics.

Whilst this clearly strengthens the project’s interpretive potential, in the

celebration of nature, and belief in its redemptive powers, Romanticism

offers a site-specific, conceptual basis to explore the co-existence of

architecture and landscape and, in doing so, to mediate P450’s project

needs, the historic precedent for St Mary Redcliffe’s embedment in its

secular context, and the stakeholder desire for continued greenspace.

30

Chatterton, Southey, Coleridge (Bristol Museums)

The South Porch by J.M.W Turner (Bristol Museums)


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.5 EMERGING IDEAS: ARCHITECTURAL APPROACH

3.5.1 SITE STRATEGIES

Drawing upon the positive outcomes of RIBA 2, the concepts emerging

from P450’s interpretive themes, the consultation feedback, and the

historic context of St Mary Redcliffe, the strategic site approach has been

revisited, as follows:

Palimpsest

Reflecting both the extant and remembered context of the church to root

the proposals in the multi-layered history of Redcliffe.

Grain

Remembering that the setting of St Mary Redcliffe was once defined by

the co-existence of:

• a ‘great ascent’, derived from the dramatic level change between

street and Nave;

• a close juxtaposition, particularly on its north and west boundaries,

with the secular, more human-scaled context of its community;

And reinstating both visual and experiential qualities to ensure:

• a celebratory approach to the North Porch, appropriate to its historic

significance;

• opportunities for more incidental, informal interaction with the fabric

of the church;

• a blurring of the boundaries between the sacred and the secular, to

reflect both St Mary Redcliffe’s historic embedment in its community,

and its contemporary offer of engagement.

Void

Reimagining the historic voids - stables and yards - that once abutted the

church, as places of contemporary contemplation, invitational spaces in

which to pause and savour the awe-inspiring beauty of the church.

31


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.5 EMERGING IDEAS: ARCHITECTURAL APPROACH

3.5.1 SITE STRATEGIES

Topography

Celebrating the topographic shift from the ‘red cliff’ to the street by reexposing

the North Churchyard’s boundary wall and reimagining the ‘red

cliff’ as a narrative strand, the conceptual, fragmented enclosure to St

Mary Redcliffe’s ecclesiastical activities.

Precedent

Minimising impact by placing buildings in only those locations already

subject to historic change, including:

• the lost context of Pile Street;

• the C20 subterranean boiler house and now-redundant oil tanks;

• a C19 coal store in the angle between South Chancel Aisle & Lady

Chapel;

• a C19 subterranean store in the South Churchyard;

• the C19 railway tunnel formed by cut-and-fill within the South

Churchyard.

Landscape

Displacing the South Churchyard volume to protect the existing mature

trees at its eastern boundary and creating a raised landscape, coinciding

with the 1940s Podium to the North Porch, to:

• maximise greenspace and contribute to visual amenity, micro-climatic

attenuation, and biodiversity;

• provide a new public space in proximity to the church;

• complete the Processional Way to enable equitable access to the

entire perimeter of the church.

32


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.5 EMERGING IDEAS: ARCHITECTURAL APPROACH

3.5.1 SITE STRATEGIES

Materiality

Utilising a highly specific palette, with each of the proposed materials already

present in the site; red sandstone representing the underlying geology, and

Pennant stone, timber and bronze respecting St Mary Redcliffe’s secondary

and tertiary materiality to ensure both subservience and a harmonic modesty

of expression.

To inform the evolving design, we are exploring critical To details, inform the ev

particularly those areas where we are engaging directly particularly with those

historic fabric, such as new openings

historic fabric, suc

These emerging details are enabling us to develop a vocabulary These emerging d

of intervention and define a design intent based on: of intervention an

Red Sandstone Ashlar (Siza / Dezeen)

33

• Modesty

• Modesty


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.5 EMERGING IDEAS: ARCHITECTURAL APPROACH

3.5.1 SITE STRATEGIES

Sustainability

Aligning with Bristol’s One City Climate Strategy and the Bristol Diocese

declaration of climate emergency to target a zero carbon / carbon

neutral development, employing an holistic approach to environmental

sustainability, potentially utilising strategies within the new facilities

including:

• natural ventilation in all areas, except those where archival /

conservation standards dictate increased environmental controls;

• high thermal mass, to minimise diurnal swings and facilitate nighttime

cooling;

• renewable heating, via air-source heat pumps linked to lowtemperature

underfloor heating;

• micro-generation, via a photovoltaic array on the south roof of the

Nave, concealed from view by the existing parapet;

• combined attenuation and rainwater harvesting to both manage

surface-water run-off and provide recycled water for landscape

irrigation, the flushing of WCs, etc;

• low-energy fittings, with dimmable controls, linked to occupancy

detectors;

• low-flow fittings, with self-closing taps to all public areas;

• a green roof to:

• further attenuate rain / storm-water;

• provide micro-climatic enhancement, including urban cooling;

• improve air quality;

• enhance biodiversity;

• provide visual and spatial amenity.

Flooding from rivers

Flooding from reservoirs

Flood Risk

Due to its relative elevation, and as indicated by the adjacent diagrams,

St Mary Redcliffe is located in an area of low flood risk. Nevertheless, it is

anticipated that a betterment on the existing volume of storm-water runoff,

plus an allowance for climate change, will be required as part of the

development consents process.

Given that the scope for swales, ponds, or soak-aways is limited by the

combination of underlying clay, constrained site area, and sensitivity of the

church setting, it is proposed to achieve this betterment utilising both a

below-ground attenuation tank (situated in the made-ground of the north

lawn, beyond the historic churchyard boundary) and green roofs that, as

indicated above, are also integral to the sustainability approach.

Flooding from surface-water

34

An Early C20 View from the Floating Harbour (Bristol Library Collection)


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.5 EMERGING IDEAS: ARCHITECTURAL APPROACH

3.5.2 ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

Site Investigations & Archival Research

Given the emphasis placed on historic precedents, both extant and recalled,

in addition to the specific site investigations undertaken by Bristol & Regional

Archaeological Services (BARAS) in 2014, the site strategies have been

informed by detailed searches of the church’s Drawings Archive, extracts from

which are included below.

Above: A Survey Drawing from 1936, recording the North

Churchyard Boundary Wall (Church Archive)

Below: The North Churchyard Boundary Wall, as Excavated by

BARAS in 2014 (Church Archive)

A Survey Drawing from 1842, recording the North Churchyard Boundary Wall, and Below-Ground Structures within the South Churchyard (Church Archive)

35


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.5 EMERGING IDEAS: ARCHITECTURAL APPROACH

3.5.2 ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

36

Oatley’s Unrealised Proposal for an Undercroft at the North-Eastern Edge of the South Churchyard (Church Archive)


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.6 EMERGING IDEAS: PLANNING PRINCIPLES

Drawing together the comprehensive research to date, the outcomes of both public and stakeholder engagement, and reflections on the emerging ideas

shared with BCC during the initial consultation of September 2020, the following key Strategic Planning Principles have been evolved to seek BCC’s

feedback and, subject to this outcome, guide and inform the next stages of P450’s design development.

September 2020 Sketch Scheme

Developed principally in response to the question of greenscape retention

on the north-side, this sketch scheme explores the possibility of:

• conceptually drawing the south churchyard over the northside

building to create a raised landscape;

• locating this at the level of the existing podium to the 1940s

Undercroft to create a fully accessible external route to the

Processional Way;

• utilising planted terraces to mediate between this public ‘roof garden’

and the street edge to Redcliffe Way.

Whilst this scheme offers promise in terms of:

• the retention of greenscape for visual and public amenity;

• its horizontal, rooted emphasis;

• the completion of the Processional Way.

It is our assessment that the planted terraces are too extensive as, judged

against the Site Strategies:

• the planted terraces provide limited opportunity for permeability, or

incidental engagement from Redcliffe Way;

• to coincide with the level of the existing podium to the 1940s

Undercroft, the terraces are required to be of such a height that

the surface of the raised landscape is not visible from the street,

potentially providing an experiential barrier, rather than an invitational

gesture of engagement;

• the extrusion of steps / terraces across the entire north elevation

diminishes the historic primacy of the West End by denying the

opportunity for a reinstatement of the ‘Great Ascent’ from the site’s

north-west corner.

?

?

Raised public landscape

External route to

complete Processional

Way

Planted terraces to

mediate levels

?

September 2020 Sketch Scheme

Sketch Section through Planted Terraces, demonstrating

the potential lack of visual and experiential connectivity

37


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.6 EMERGING IDEAS: PLANNING PRINCIPLES

Further exploration has therefore established the following Strategic

Planning Principles:

1. Creating new buildings in the North & South Churchyards to respond

to the church’s operational needs, symbolise its outreach, and

create a ‘stitch’ - a physical and experiential repair - between the

communities of North & South Redcliffe.

2. Repairing the context of St Mary Redcliffe by both recalling its

historic setting and, through continued engagement with the Joint

Delivery Board, anticipating the imminent changes to Redcliffe Way to

maximise opportunities for close coordination.

3. Consciously adopting a language of subservience, employing the

site’s secondary and tertiary materiality to maintain unchallenged the

primacy of the existing building and express the new interventions as

landscape devices.

4. Within the South Churchyard Building:

4.1

4.2

4.3

Recalling the volume of the C19 Garden Store but displacing its

footprint to ensure the protection and retention of the existing

mature trees on the churchyard’s eastern boundary.

Locating slightly above the existing ground plane, on micropiles,

to minimise impact to either the existing rootzones or the

underlying C19 railway tunnel.

Weaving through the trees, to create a visually lightweight

pavilion, embedded in the South Churchyard landscape, and

capturing the extraordinary views to the church beyond.

5. Within the North Churchyard Building:

5.1

5.2

5.3

Locating entirely at Undercroft level to maintain visual access

to the existing elevation, and create a new base, a physical

manifestation of the ‘red-cliff’ on which the church is founded.

Eroding this base to recall the ‘Great Ascent’ to the North

Porch, whilst also, via the remembered historic grain of Pile

Street, increasing its permeability to promote less formal, more

incidental engagement with both Redcliffe Way and Pump Lane.

Placing on this base a raised landscape to maximise the

retention of greenspace, increase visual amenity and, linking to

both the podium of Oatley’s Undercroft and the C15 Processional

Way, provide equitable access to the entire church perimeter for

the first time in its history.

38

Planted Terraces / Steps to recall the ‘Great Ascent’

and achieve an unimpeded view to the North Porch

Sketch Model displaying the conceptual ‘stitches’ created by public routes

An Eroded Base to achieve both a ceremonial approach to the North Porch

and more informal, incidental engagement with Redcliffe Way


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.6 EMERGING IDEAS: PLANNING PRINCIPLES

5.4

5.5

Placing within the currently unwelcoming and underutilised

space between the North Porch and North Transept a new lift

and stair to provide fully equitable access to both Nave and

Undercroft level.

Creating a new entrance to the 1940s Undercroft from Redcliff

Hill to reflect the historic importance of the West End, and

enable new connections to Redcliffe Wharf and the Floating

Harbour’s historically significant ‘south shore’.

6. Dissolving the experiential boundary between sacred and secular,

public and private, to present St Mary Redcliffe as a welcoming refuge

for people of all faiths and none.

7. Providing physical links to the existing fabric in as few locations as

possible, only where C19 and C20 change has already occurred and, in

all cases utilising a conservation philosophy of:

7.1

Minimal Intervention;

8. In the absence of a ‘back’, providing discreet and contained physical

servicing via Pump Lane.

9. Aligning with both Bristol’s One City Climate Strategy and the Bristol

Diocese statement of climate emergency to target a zero-carbon /

carbon neutral development and explore opportunities for the raised

landscape’s contribution to:

9.1

Rainwater Attenuation;

5.6

Providing a new Choir School and Vestry facilities - necessarily

emerging above the ‘red-cliff’ base but still remaining below

the cill level of the tracery windows - to respond to the church’s

operational needs, and also enable the translation of the

existing Choir Vestry into a Treasury, displaying the church’s

important archival collection, and enabling public access to its

extraordinary mediaeval interior.

7.2

7.3

7.4

Legibility;

Reversibility;

Modesty.

9.2

9.3

9.4

Biodiversity;

Microclimatic Enhancement;

Wellbeing.

South Churchyard Building

(ahead of section)

North Churchyard

Building

Redcliffe Wharf Development

Anticipated Scale of Redcliffe Way Development

Sketch Site Section through Transept, demonstrating the future context of Redcliffe Way

39


3.0 PROPOSALS

3.6 EMERGING IDEAS: PLANNING PRINCIPLES

Exploring Shared Ideas:

A Luminous Beacon - The Yellow Pavilion, London Festival of Architecture

A Symbolic Red Wall - Beflast Transport Hub

Materiality as a Narrative of Place - Vartov Square, Copenhagen

40

An Initial Massing Model, viewed from the North West


4

Conclusion

41


4.0 CONCLUSION

Project 450 offers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reinforce St

Mary Redcliffe as the physical, social, and spiritual heart of its growing

community and, in doing so, to repair this fractured place.

The illustrated Site Strategies (3.5) and Planning Principles (3.6), whilst

necessarily outline in nature, are therefore rooted in an analysis of both

past context and contemporary need and, we trust, provide a resonant and

reponsive basis for this initial Pre-Application Enquiry.

Indeed, St Mary Redcliffe welcomes the opportunity to share its emerging

ideas through this ongoing, iterative process to ensure the:

• collaborative evolution of P450;

• alignment of the ecclesiastical and secular approvals processes;

• realisation of P450’s urban, social, and religious objectives ;

• growing appreciation of St Mary Redcliffe as a welcoming heritage

destination and place of refuge for people of all faiths and none;

• transformation of St Mary Redcliffe’s funding model to enable

engagement with the parish that is sustained and sustainable.

Dan Talkes RIBA AABC

Hall McKnight

November 2020

42

The Nave of St Mary Redcliffe


5

Appendix

5.1 Summary of Research To-Date

43


5.0 APPENDIX

5.1 SUMMARY OF RESEARCH TO-DATE

As noted, the proposals have been informed by detailed analysis of needs, opportunities, and constraints. The key documents are

summarised below, and can be accessed in full at:

https://www.stmaryredcliffe.co.uk/project-450#P450Studies

Document Title Author Date

Conservation Management Plan Michael Drury Architects 2003

2008 Dare to Dream: facilities aspiration brief Action Planning 2008

Armoire report Hugh Harrison 2009

Strategic Visitor Facility Review Heritage Resource Agency 2012

3D digital survey of the church Scan to Plan 2013

South Churchyard Historic Landscape Survey Nicholas Pearson Associates LLP 2013

Access Study Marcus Chantrey 2013

Statement of Need, 1st edition, adopted by PCC SMR 2013

Space study and Schedule of New Accommodation Marcus Chantrey 2014

Queen Elizabeth Statue Report and Paint Analysis Sally Strachey Historic Conservation 2014

West End study Marcus Chantrey 2014

Heritage Report Robert Bevan 2014

Mansion House report Cultural Heritage Services 2014

Archaeological Evaluation Bristol & Regional Archaeological Services 2014

The North Wall: Archaeological survey Jerry Sampson Buildings Archaeology 2014

Cleaning and conservation of north porch brief Marcus Chantrey 2014

Ground penetrating radar survey Sandberg LLP 2014

North Porch Historical Gazetteer Jon Cannon 2015

Travel survey SMR 2015

Community Consultation Report ERS 2016

Fundraising Feasibility Study Eric Grounds Consultancy 2016

Spatial brief Marcus Chantrey 2016

Heritage Asset Review Rita McLean & Jane Arthur 2017

Hogarth Altarpiece: Specialist Advisor Report Brendan Flynn 2017

Hogarth Altarpiece Conservation Report IFACS 2017

Community Development Report Vivid Regeneration 2017

Interpretation design strategy Imagemakers 2018

Visitor Experience strategic development analysis SMR 2018

Initial Options Appraisal Purcell 2018

Vision and Purpose Dan Tyndall 2018

Heritage Business Plan Glevum Heritage Consultants 2019

Ecological Assessment LUC 2019

Arboricultural Survey S J Stephens Associates 2020

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