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BRISTOL ROYAL INFIRMARY EXTENSION

Bristol, United Kingdom 2013-2016

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BRISTOL ROYAL INFIRMARY EXTENSION

Bristol, United Kingdom 2013-2016

Designing a new façade for an existing building may seem contradictory to a comprehensive and unitary conception of architecture. It may also raise doubts about the unity of the architectural work and even its authorship. However, these circumstances are not so strange to a discipline, architecture, that unlike other arts, has always accepted the possibility of being expanded or modified in the course of time. The project of a façade for the Bristol hospital offered the opportunity to reset the relationship between the part and the whole, the unity and the fragmentation, and between the initial intentions of the author and the contingencies that affect the life of the buildings. The Bristol Royal Infirmary is a complex with multiple pavilions and extensions built over time. The former 18th century hospital was expanded in 1911 with a large limestone building in an “E”-shaped plan. In 1965 a second expansion characterized by an expressive rhythm of prefabricated concrete elements completed the façade towards the Upper Maudlin Street. A somehow "brutalist" aesthetic in the treatment of the material coexisted with the compositional order of vertical pieces that gave lightness to the ensemble. However, the poor state of conservation and several unfortunate additions - such as a new welcome center and the mechanical installations on the roofs - significantly distorted the original architecture. As result of a restricted competition between three artists (Daniel Buren, Luke Jerram and Anthony Malinowski) and three architects (Tham and Videgard, So-Il and Nieto Sobejano) - our proposal did not intend to radically change the original image of the building, but rather to transform it following the same geometrical law which had generated it. We limited ourselves to wrap the existing grid with white aluminum profiles, thus solving the technical problems of the façade. Like a veil that adheres and separates from the skin, the new lattice display comes off the façade creating interstitial public spaces that suggest a new relationship between the hospital and its urban context. Façade and building enter a dialogue in which it is no longer easy to discern who is subject to who, the part or the whole.
 
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BRISTOL ROYAL INFIRMARY EXTENSION

Bristol, United Kingdom 2013-2016

Location
Bristol, United Kingdom
Client
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
Architects
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano
CODA Architects (local architects)
Program
Façade redevelopment and landscaping
Total area
3.200 m2
Project architect
Alexandra Sobral
Project team
Rocío Alonso, Iago Blanco, Patricia Grande, Jean-Benoît Houyet, Víctor Mascato, Ana Pascual, Juan Carlos Redondo, Clemens Vogel
Structural engineer
AECOM
Generaia, S.L. (Construction work structure consultant)
Engineering services
Hoare Lea
Lighting consultant
Ignacio Valero
Building control
Buckley Lewis
Cost adviser
Sweett Group
Town plannig
WYG
Models
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
Juan de Dios Hernández - Jesús Rey
Photographs
Diego Hernández (models)
Roland Halbe
Project dates
Competition: 2013
Design: 2013-14
Construction: 2016
Construction company
d+b facades UK Ltd
  
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BRISTOL ROYAL INFIRMARY EXTENSION

Bristol, United Kingdom 2013-2016

Monograph TC CUADERNOS nº 131/132. 2017
Published by General de Ediciones de Arquitectura. Valencia, Spain
ISBN: 978-84-947421-4-9 
Page: 314 – 325
 
Magazine ARQUITECTURA VIVA nº 194.5. 2017
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0214-1256
Page: 68 – 69
 
Magazine AV PROYECTOS nº 071. 2015
Dossier Nieto Sobejano
Published by Arquitectura Viva. S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1697-493X
Page: 6 – 21

Monograph NS. 2014
Fuensanta Nieto Enrique Sobejano Architetture
Published by Electa Architecttura. Milan, Italy
Authors: Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano
ISBN: 978-88-9180-228-6
Page: 166 – 171 
 
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BRISTOL ROYAL INFIRMARY EXTENSION

Bristol, United Kingdom 2013-2016

Shortlisted in the WAN Facade Award 2016. Bristol Royal Infirmary Extension