Originally an 18th century sail loft, situated by Pero’s bridge between the YHA and Arnolfini, the renovation project has restored and revealed many of the buildings original features including the charred timber beams.
Shanks says ‘For the last 20 years I’ve been involved with the centre from attending talks, speaking, curating exhibitions, supporting workshops to now running the education programme and project managing the build delivery. As we peeled away the layer of the building to restore it, it was heart-warming to see details and markings from the many guises that the space has taken on and the design details from architects and designers from the last quarter of a century. The centre has been a home for me, where I’ve connected with people who have become lifelong friends and mentors and who have guided me throughout my career in Architecture.’
The project was completed thanks to a successful crowdfunder, and the construction phase employed local makers, metal-workers, upholsterers and craftspeople.
Shanks says, “Without the support of suppliers and built environment professionals coming together to give free time and products this project would not have been possible. A huge thank you to Gemma Randall for her interior design services, Arup, Cook Brown, Vitra, Orgin Furniture, Tile Stores, BC Ceramics, Hydrock, Montmac, Altro Whiterock, Ecophon, Max Fordham, Stride Treglown, Emmett Russell Architects, Childs and Sulzmann Architects, Kenko Design, RJ Scaffolding.”
Alongside benefitting from the in-kind products and support, local people and firms have been strong advocates and delivery agents of the project including, Symes Construction, Kobec Electrical, Stride Treglown, Emprint Signs, AHMM, Field and Clegg Bradley, George Ferguson, David Mellor, Keith Hallett, UWE, Bristol City Council, Taylor Made metal, Hallett Metalworks, Chroma Sparks, Staple Sisters, Triangle lifts, Chaunceys Timber.
In the spirit of the way in which the project has been delivered ‘The Architect’ Café-Bar is now open as a centre for people working within the design and built environment profession to get together, share ideas and collaborate.