Plans for St James Square, the tallest building in Bristol, England, approved

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Plans for St James Square, a project that will deliver the newest tallest building in Bristol, have been given a green light by the city council. Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England.

The St James Square project will be developed at the site of the ageing Premier Inn Bristol City Centre (Haymarket) Hotel. Formerly known as Avon House, Premier Inn is an 18-storey building located at the St James Barton Roundabout next to the Bear Pit.

It was built between 1969 and 1972, and it served as an office building under the name Avon House till 1999 when it was converted into a hotel and rebranded as Premier Inn as a result.

Scope of the project

St James Square project includes the construction of two elegant high quality new buildings.

One of the buildings will be 28 storeys purpose-built, managed student accommodation, with a total of 442 bedrooms. Upon completion, the 28-storey building will become the tallest building in Bristol. The second building is 18 storeys building meant to provide a total of 132 co-living homes 20% of which would be affordable with local housing allowance rents.

In addition to the construction of the two buildings, the St James Square project also includes the creation of 1,900m² of new public open space, the equivalent of two-thirds of the site’s area (63%). Furthermore, it includes the creation of attractive and welcoming landscaping with a new central courtyard café, extensive planting and green spaces.

The project will also involve the creation of clearly orientated and safe pedestrian routes through the site connecting Bristol Bus Station, Broadmead, St James’ Priory and the Bear Pit,  as well as opening up views to the historic St James’ Priory, currently largely hidden behind the Beefeater.

St James Square project team

St James Square project is developed by Olympian Homes in partnership with Whitbread PLC.

Olympian Homes is a real estate company based out of 85 Buckingham Gate, London, England, United Kingdom, that focuses on the development of commercial and residential sites with property management services. Whitbread on the other hand is a leading hospitality business and the owner of Premier Inn, UK’s biggest hotel brand.

The companies have so far engaged Hodder+Partners, McGregor Coxall, and Savills Bristol in the project. Hodder+Partners is an established architectural practice, with over 60 major awards, including the inaugural RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture while McGregor Coxall is a multi-disciplinary design firm located in Australia, China and the UK dedicated to assisting cities achieve sustainable prosperity.

Savills Bristol on the other hand is a company that offers a wide range of specialist services from financial and investment advice to valuation, planning and property management. Noteworthy, the company is highly experienced in large-scale Bristol regeneration projects such as Cabot Circus, The Galleries and Castle Park View.

Now that the project is approved, Olympian is seeking a funding partner and a building contractor.

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