Beacon House

Beacon House

Beacon House

Beacon House

Background

Development proposals are being brought forward by the University of Bristol to refurbish and improve Beacon House (the former Habitat building) to provide a new student hub with additional study and learning spaces and a new public reception point for the University.

Built in 1854, the Grade II listed building has been vacant since the departure of Habitat in 2011.  The building will help shift the axis of the city campus towards the city and the Students' Union building and help to create a central spine to the city campus connecting all along from Tyndall Avenue to Queen’s Road.

First Floor

First Floor

University vision

The first phase of development will take place this academic year and focus on the large retail floors of Beacon House to create a new University Reception, with a café, and a learning commons for independent study and academic skills development.

'The Beacon House project is hugely exciting: it promises to accommodate, energise and inspire students in a welcoming and flexible environment - and to showcase the best of the University to our visitors. As a site that promotes and celebrates learning it will become central to the University's engagement with its students and city.'(Professor Judith Squires, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education)

The Triangle

The Triangle

A coherent campus

Beacon House provides an exciting opportunity for the University to have a physical presence in a busy city location and to connect the city campus to the University’s Clifton residences, Richmond Building, the Victoria Rooms and Will’s Memorial Building.

Dr Jess Gardner, Director of Library Services describes what this exciting project means to the University;

"Beacon House lets the University redraw the maps. It helps connect spaces and activity from Tyndall Avenue all the way through to the Richmond Building and the Clifton Halls. It represents a significant investment in student learning experience and an opportunity to celebrate and share the achievements of staff and students with the city through a high-profile University Reception which is open to everyone."

Queens Avenue frontage

Queens Avenue frontage

Project outline

The large bright reception and café space will be open to the public, and provide a focal point for all visitors to the University, including prospective students and parents. The University and Students’ Union are collaborating over this space, which will include retail of UBU merchandising and an opportunity to showcase the best of education and research achievements at Bristol and potentially public events.

The learning and study spaces will be open for our students both in and outside term-time. It will comprise a mix of social learning space, collaborative group space and traditional quiet and silent space for concentrated study.

Flagship learning space

Flagship learning and study space

Project outline

The space will also include learning facilities suitable for academic and study skills training to support the transition into university, including engagement with local schools and prospective students, and to enhance the academic skills of current students.

The potential to locate a University bookshop in Beacon House was an early ambition and attractive option. However, the space requirements of a commercial bookshop have proved to be too substantial and would have required significant loss of University Reception or student study space. Options for pop-up retail activity, for instance a temporary bookshop at the start of term to sell core reading materials, remain under consideration.

Grade II listed frontage

Grade II listed frontage

Future vision

Beacon House also comprises four floors of offices above the retail floors, a large storage area and a nightclub tenant in the basement. At the time of writing, the basement area and the public realm outside Beacon House are out of scope of current plans of work. Discussions are taking place with the Faculty Deans to appraise university priorities for the office floors. The Beacon House Project focus at this time is on developing the new University Reception, café and learning commons.

Development of study spaces

Development of study spaces

Planning and timeline

The University has successfully received planning permission for the first phase of works to Beacon House and the process to appoint a contractor is now in motion.


Work commences on site

Start on site

The appointed main contractors, Midas Construction, have set up site and started early works on Beacon House.  These works include key condition surveys, soft strip, isolation and removal of services.


Site progress

Demolition works

Demolition works will soon complete and work will commence on the new roof covering and installation of new mechanical and electrical services.


Work commences on site

Site progress

Installation of the ceiling mounted ventilation ductwork begins.


Work commences on site

Shaping up

Internal partitions are now starting to be erected and the rooms are starting to take shape. 


Work commences on site

Roof works

The roof works are nearing completion.


Work commences on site

Roof works

The roof works are now complete and Photovolatic panels are ready to be secured to the roof.


Progress on site

External works

The upper floor windows are now all replaced and the stone facade alongside them has been cleaned.  


Progress on site

Study spaces taking shape

The internal works are progressing well and on programme.  Internal partitions continue to mark out the space of each activity and raised flooring has now been installed. 


Progress on site

Study spaces taking shape

The internal works are progressing well and on programme.  Internal partitions continue to mark out the space of each activity and raised flooring has now been installed. 


Progress on site

Study spaces taking shape

The electrical works are progressing well in the student study spaces on the first floor. 


Progress on site

Sustainability

All the photovoltaic panels (PVs) have now been installed on the roof in line with the University's commitment to sustainable energy.  


Progress on site

Cafe

The rooflight in the cafe area has now been installed.  


Progress on site

Progress works

The contractors are progressing well with the final phase of works and the building is really taking shape, including the bathrooms!  


Progress on site

Fit out

Fit out of the building is continuing well.  Carpets in the study areas are now being installed.   


Progress on site

Reception area

The reception area to Beacon House is taking shape, including the ceiling features.  


Progress on site

Cafe

The catering units for the Beacon House cafe provision are now on site and in progress of installation. 


Progress on site

Cafe

Installation of the cafe has progressed well.  The flooring is complete and the servery furniture installed.   


Progress on site

Study area

All study furniture is being delivered, installed and arranged for the individual and group spaces.   


Progress on site

Student study areas

Study desks are now in place on the upper floor quiet study areas.   

As these plans progress the University and its project team would like to hear the views of those living and working in the area and also feedback from University staff and students.

If you have any comments or queries about the proposals please contact;

Avril Baker Consultancy, consultation co-ordinator

Tel: 0117 977 2002 Fax: 0117 077 4255 or email: info@abc-pr.co.uk

Alternatively comments on the submitted planning applications can be made directly to Bristol City Council Planning Department.

Feedback and questions about the project can be emailed to the project team

  • Staff can find out further information on Beacon House by visiting the Strategic Projects site, including governance and recent communications.