We propose to build approximately 165 new homes at Baltic Wharf, whilst creating new public spaces, with a mix of uses, that encourage a sense of community and social inclusiveness, that are accessible to all, and which prioritise walking and cycling, social interaction and physical activity for a high quality of life.

The design of these public spaces will draw heavily on the site’s historical context and harbourside setting, producing a unique space that acknowledges the area’s history as a busy and dynamic working dockyard. This will be achieved with materials and public art that reference the site’s heritage.

The proposals will make the most of the waterfront location with seating steps and social spaces with striking views across the water for residents and locals. In contrast, private and semi-private amenity spaces on terraces and roof gardens will be calm and relaxing with comfortable furniture and colourful and biodiverse planting.

Ground floor commercial space is proposed on the harbour frontage, which could include a mix of places to eat and drink, in turn enhancing activity in this corner of the harbour and creating a new destination. The commercial space will complement rather than detract from The Cottage Inn and Underfall Yard, and could incorporate some local social enterprises, which will enhance footfall and promote social activity to further enliven the harbour setting.
How do the plans respond to the local context?

The proposals respond to and complement the historical setting and heritage of the Bristol Harbour, particularly Underfall Yard. The architecture and landscape design are strongly influenced by the distinct wharf side setting and traditional, red brick warehouses prevalent in the area.

Building forms, roofs and materials reference the expression and proportion of the traditional warehouse buildings around Underfall Yard, allowing the new buildings to seamlessly knit into the historic fabric of this part of the city. The concept for the landscape design and placemaking is influenced by the harbour setting, and the historic use of the site as a timber yard.

Industrial materials such as concrete, corten and timber will be used within the public realm and residential amenity spaces, while timber yard products such as beams, sleepers and stacks provide a strong reference for design and pattern throughout the scheme.

How the site could look within its context (click to enlarge)

How tall are the proposed buildings?

Heights of proposed buildings range from 3 storeys on the eastern boundary, with a maximum of 6 storeys in the centre of the site (above the raised central area). Offset distances from existing homes beyond the eastern boundary are set at around 20m back to back, and 15m aspect to non-aspect. The setting of the existing pub is respected, with a new public space proposed, separating this heritage building from the proposed apartments.The highest buildings are orientated to have the main aspect towards the harbour or to the south.

The buildings forming the frontage to the south, aligned with the existing wall and are generally 4 storeys, with a taller corner element marking the entrance and new public route through the site to the harbour.

The proposed buildings viewed looking south across the Floating Harbour (click to enlarge)

How do the proposals relate to local destinations and landmarks?

Baltic Wharf will become a new, vibrant, mixed use destination, to complement the social activities around Spike Island, Wapping Wharf and the Underfall Yard. It will create new architecture and public realm, that makes a positive contribution to the environment of Bristol Harbour, enhancing the sense of place and distinct character of this vibrant part of Bristol.

Initial design proposals have been placed into an accurate 3D model of the harbour context, and this has been used to evaluate the visual impact of the proposals against the existing scale, massing and grain of surrounding buildings and landscape features. As well as the existing built context we have also evaluated the emerging and future developments, either already with planning permission, or with applications pending, to ensure that the Baltic Wharf proposals are aligned with the patterns of future growth of this part of Bristol.

The thorough analysis of the existing scale, massing and urban grain around the harbour has been employed to propose a new scheme that is respectful and in sympathy with the historic context, that assists in the continuing evolution of this part of Bristol, while preserving its distinct characteristics that make it such an important part of the townscape.

The proposed buildings compared to existing and recently consented buildings in the local area (click to enlarge)

How will people move through the site?

A new public route and open space connects the River Avon to the Floating Harbour. The proposals retain the historic wall on Cumberland Road and use the existing entrance to the site as the start of the public route.

The site will be fully pedestrianised in the north half of the neighbourhood, with vehicles restricted to the southern half to gain access into parking areas, with a separated route created for pedestrians. All entrances to the new homes are accessed from the main public route through the site.

The proposed landscape plan, showing public open spaces in relation to buildings (click to enlarge)

An indicative example of waterside public space landscaping (click to enlarge)
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