The historic building that originally housed the generator for Bristol’s tram system is set to get a new lease of life as offices for technology, creative and media businesses under new plans.
Developer Cubex, together with its funding partner Palmer Capital, is behind the £12m renovation and conversion of the Generator Building, which will create 28,300 sq ft of work space, for up to 300 people.
The property at Finzels Reach by Bristol’s floating harbour will be extensively renovated, with repairs to the limestone ashlar stonework and dramatic windows, to bring the exterior back to its former glory.
The original 1890s arched front entrance on Counterslip with its grand Venetian window is currently sealed off and will be re-instated with new glass doors at street level.
The interior of the building will comprise five storeys of grade A office space, designed to make the most of the views across the harbour as well as meeting current British Council of Offices standards. Architects’ practice the Bush Consultancy has designed the office conversion.
Gavin Bridge, director of developers Cubex, said: “We think this striking building is likely to attract companies from the creative, media or tech sectors who are looking for an inspirational environment in the heart of the city.
“This building has a fascinating history as the place that powered 20th century transport innovation, and it’s good to think it could become home to some of the companies at the forefront of today’s technology revolution.”
Bristol was the first city in Britain to build an electric tram service and the Generator Building was opened in 1899 to supply power to the massively expanding tramways network. Architect William Curtis Green also designed buildings such as Scotland Yard and the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane.
The Bristol power station contained four steam engines coupled to four generators and supplied power to the tramway system until 1941, when a bomb hit St Philips Bridge and cut the power cables.
A public consultation on the plans will be held today (29 November 2017) ahead of the submission of a full-planning application to Bristol City Council in early December. Work could start on the building in summer 2018.
Author: Stephen Farrell