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As part of Bristol’s BSF programme, Walters & Cohen worked with Skanska on the refurbishment and new buildings at Colston’s Girls’ School.

Extensive consultation and a space audit identified the need for large, flexible teaching spaces for drama, music and art. Drama and art are accommodated in a new, three-storey building on the Cheltenham Road frontage. The red brick building complements the Victorian school buildings adjacent; together they frame the new student entrance, a two-storey, lightweight glass infill that also serves as an entrance foyer for performances in the arts building. Music has its own stand-alone pavilion comprising two large, multi-functional spaces and three practice rooms. The roof of the pavilion meets and generously extends the existing external social space.

Aside from the new arts facilities, we refurbished the existing school buildings, including the Grade II listed original school. The library was moved to the heart of the school, making it more easily accessible. This allowed all science subjects to be accommodated in one building with generous spaces and flexible furniture. The old Ecuadorian teak science benches, which have been part of the school since its opening in 1897, are now enjoying a new life as a reception desk and fittings for the student/arts centre entrance.

The new building was opened by Lord Adonis in September 2011 and won an RIBA South West Regional Award and BCSE Award in 2012.

Client Skanska; Bristol City Council
Total value Confidential
Completion September 2011
Area 8,343 m2
QS Skanska
Contractor Skanska
Structure Skanska Technology
Building Services Arup
Educationalist KEY Education Associates

Education Masterplanning


  Photographs / Drawings

Elevation of Cheltenham Road

Site plan

Ground floor plan

First floor plan

Second floor plan

Section of new entrance

Section of new entrance

Section across entrance and multi-use space