OLD MAGISTRATES COURT
Research aim:
To develop a design proposal shaped by the ideas of young people for a Digital and Creative Enterprise Hub in the context of a historically significant and grade II listed building in the centre of Bristol.

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The Old Magistrates’ Court on the historic Bridewell site in the centre of Bristol for many years played a significant role in the life of the city with people from varying walks of life having walked through the doors. In the last 2 decades the building has fallen into a state of disrepair and now needs considerable work to bring it back to its former glory.

.The Courts are surrounded by other significant buildings such as the old Police Station and headquarters and the old Fire Station, all of which have now been converted for modern uses such as a youth hostel and an arts/exhibition space. From the beginning, it was clear there was potential for links between the Creative Enterprise Hub and the surrounding buildings, programmatic and physical.


The main aim of this project was to translate the ideas and thoughts of the young people/ potential users of the space into a scheme for the building which could feed into the Stage 2 Heritage Lottery Fund Application and support other funding bids. During the project we consulted with Creative Youth Network’s Youth Steering Group and our client several times to get their ideas for what the building could be and understand what spaces they felt were important to help young creatives develop their skills and businesses in the creative and digital industries.


The proposal focuses on 5 key spaces throughout the building that are of particular importance in creating the stepping stones needed for young entrepreneurs and providing an income for the building, whilst making the most of the building's original features. These spaces are; A multi-use bar/venue, a collaborative digital manufacturing workshop, a flexible technology showcase space, a café/ informal meeting space and co-working offices. 

 UWE Master of Architecture students: Phillippa Budd, Laura Penrose, Daniel Perry & Nutawat Siraviwat


Client: Creative Youth Network
Collaborators: Purcell Architects