Bristol Glassfields Project

Interested parties:
Wildflower Turf Ltd, Royal London UK Real Estate Fund, B|D Landscape Architects, CW Duke.

The brief:
Sited in the centre of Bristol city, the three-acre Glassfields site is a significant mixed-use redevelopment project comprising a commercial office initiative alongside a 197-bedroom hotel.

Developers Royal London Asset Management appointed B|D Landscape Architects to progress a new meanwhile park at the centre of the Glassfields development.

The aim was to design a central public space which would be in place for a minimum of three years. The communal space also needed to create a seamless public link between the Temple Quarter and the Old Market areas of the city.

An important objective was to create a green and harmonised space that would encourage office staff and visitors to the area to linger, rest and rejuvenate.

The work:
Previously the original glassworks site of a bottle-making factory and gin distillery, the aptly named Glassfields was transformed throughout 2021.

The former brownfield site was reimagined by B|D Landscape Architects and they created bespoke wayfinding elements and playful paths to lead visitors into a central event space.

In September 2021, a combination of Wildflower Turf® Native Enriched and Wildflower Turf® Shade Tolerant was shipped to the project. In total, just under 1,900m2 of Wildflower Turf® was supplied, with CW Duke responsible for the installation.

A key challenge of the project was the nature of the site itself. With construction occurring around the designated area, conditions for planting were not favourable.

Likewise, differing gradients also presented their own challenges. Compacted soil, rubble and existing below-ground services meant the site would require imported soil and improvement works in order to sustain ornamental planting.

With the Landscape Architects keen to avoid importing large quantities of soil, Wildflower Turf Ltd worked closely with B|D to ensure that the turf supplied would thrive at Glassfields with minimal requirements, and the turf went down on only 150mm of topsoil.

Alongside the native wildflower meadows, the space also benefits from ornamental planting, tree planting and wildlife stations.

The results:
As well as providing an easy-care and low-maintenance urban wildlife sanctuary, the area also helps to offset the carbon footprint of the over-arching Glassfields development and assists to improve the well-being of visitors.

Adjacent buildings benefit from a green and attractive outlook and the meanwhile park has reconnected the industrial landscape with nature while mitigating the impacts of development.

The use of Wildflower Turf® has ensured that the Glassfield’s wildflower meadow was able to be realised despite the challenges of the site and the resulting meadow is drought tolerant and pollinator friendly.

The success of the project also led B|D Landscape Architects to achieve finalist status at the prestigious Landscape Institute Awards in the category of “Excellence in Place Regeneration” in 2022.

Images by Jack Hobhouse