Bristol Workplace Programme

Press release


In 2013 Alec French Architects and PLACEmaking formed ‘ADAPT’, a multi-skilled collection of Bristol based specialist workplace consultants and designers, architects and engineers to undertake Bristol City Council’s ‘Bristol Workplace Programme’ (BWP).

By enabling the council staff and partners to work in a more efficient and effective way, the programme reduces the council’s office estate from 38 buildings to 2 including the Grade II* listed City Hall and more recently purchased 100 Temple Street with savings of £72 million. PLACEmaking led on the transformation of the working environments, the interior architectural design and the cultural Change Management. Alec French led on the planning, building works and infrastructure upgrades with specialist input from ARUP, Gardiner & Theobald and Bath based Donald Insall Associates.

The first phase of the BWP objectives in 100 Temple Street was completed in October 2014. The second phase in City Hall is now complete and phased occupation is underway. The £17 million refurbishment has created new, modern and highly efficient working environments and upgraded the Grade II* listed building where possible to modern standards of accessibility and energy efficiency. Prior to refurbishment, the building accommodated a population of 500 people working traditionally at desks and in private offices surrounded by paper and clutter. It now supports up to 2000 staff use the work settings as a shared resource as part of a more mobile and smarter way of working. Changing traditional office behaviours and expectations of ownership of space has been at the heart of the BWP investment programme.

Public access to the building is increased by the refurbishment of the public areas including the council chamber, conference hall and committee rooms. The heritage status of the building has been respected by the designers: sensitively used as a back-drop to create a vibrant working environment with enhanced public facing spaces. Improved technologies and upgraded furniture and fittings ensures the building will better support the changing needs of the council for years to come and provide high quality facilities to attract increased use by business, cultural, academic and arts communities. The democratic focus of the building has been upgraded with better public access and services now in place to make City Hall’s facilities more attractive for a wider range of activities and events.