8-10 Berkeley Square, Bristol

This £4.1 million development involved the restoration of number of Georgian buildings in one of the most prestigious locations in Clifton for the University of Bristol. Originally three separate buildings, previous constructions works had joined them into one structure. An extension was added in the 1920s with an early example of a concrete floor. Decades of undocumented alterations and partial remedial measures had left the building in an extremely poor state with large cracking in the facades, deformed floors and a sagging roof. The client wanted an extremely high level of finish to reflect the high standing of the Law School and attract the most able students.

Due to the poor condition of the structure, a sympathetic and through documentation and removal of listed fabric was required to allow major strengthening works to be undertaken. Strengthening included new steel beams in the roof to relieve the load from weak partitions, the enhancement of almost all of the original Georgian floor joists to restore flatness and support modern office loads, and crack stitching in several locations around the building.

All work had to be delicately and sensitively planned, designed and undertaken to ensure minimal damage to heritage materials such as the original lath and plaster ceilings and walls whilst enhancing the experience of the students, lecturers and members of the public who use the building.

Many of the most challenging aspects of the project came from unexpected differences in ways in which localised areas of the floors and walls were constructed, which required prompt and effective responses in order to prevent a major effect on budget and programme.

The Grade II and Grade II* refurbishment of 8-10 Berkeley Square has achieved a rating of ‘Excellent’ under the BREEAM UK environmental performance standard.