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Design and Access Statement Bristol Borstal Brunel Island Hotwells Bristol BS8 4QJ Prepared for Ba(Hons) Architecture

AC3.2 by

Tom Eddison c3270964

April 2012

Contents 1 Context 4 2 Site Description 5 3 Development Proposals 7 4 Design and Access Statement 8

- Use 8 -Amount & Scale 11 -Sustainability & Layout 12 -Appearance & Landscaping 14 -Access 16

5 Conclusion 17

Appendices Appendix 1 : Site Location Plan 18


1 Context

2 The Site 2.1 Bristol Borstal is situated on an artificial island on the south-west fringe of Bristol, at the far western point of Spike Island. The site lies between two Victorian locks, which service the outflow of Bristol Floating Harbour into the river Avon. Part of the island is currently used as a pedestal for the elevated A3029 entering the south of the city. It is located at the junction of the A3029 Brunel Way (figure 2.4 shown in blue) and the A4 Hotwell Road (figure 2.4 shown in orange) which follows the Avon downstream to the M5, about eight miles away.

Fig 1.1 Aerial view of Bristol’s Spike Island

1.1 This design proposal recognises the work carried out by Bristol City Council within the social care sectors, and attempts to alleviate numerous issues stemming from Bristol’s Ashfield Young Offenders Institution. Issues pertaining to uses, pedestrian routes and public realm, improved traffic management master planning, contemporary architecture relating to both existing historical context and appropriate material usage defined by the building’s function – have been addressed in this design.

2.4 The south of the site directly next to the A3209 overpass has the only vehicular access onto the island (fig 2.3). It can only be reached heading west on Smeaton Way or off of Brunel Way.

-Public spaces and linkages along with future pedestrian and vehicular routes -Alterations and extensions to public spaces

Figure 1.1 shows the proposed site (orange) in relation to the city centre (blue). 4

Fig 2.2 The A3029 overpass bisecting the site

2.5 A site location plan is attached at Appendix 1 showing the site and immediate surroundings.

-Environmental and sustainable issues addressed

-Environment-influenced design

2.2 Immediately to the north east of the site is the suburb of Hotwells, beyond which is the city of Bristol. To the south is a former industrial site and the river Avon which then flow directly to the west of the site. To the north are the Avon Gorge and the elegant Georgian suburb of Clifton. The site offers uninterrupted views of Clifton Suspension Bridge (fig 2.1). 2.3 The site itself is split into two parts by the A3029 (fig 2.2). The western half is currently the location of a small lock-gate house and three sculptural blocks housing the mechanisms for the massive locks (fig 2.5). The eastern half is smaller and is used mainly for storage of old materials, a swing bridge in a state of disrepair, and many timbers.

-Focus on addressing cultural issues

-Development works both singularly and integrated into masterplan scheme

Fig 2.1 The view north to Clifton

Fig 1.2 Aerial view of site looking east

2.6 The proposed borstal will be located on the western half of the site, overlooking the locks immediately north. 2.7 Figures 2.6a and 2.6b show the proposed location for Bristol Borstal. Fig 2.3 The only vehicular access onto site 5

3 Development Proposals 3.1 The proposed development will involve the siting of a new borstal complex comprising five defined blocks, on land directly to the west of the A3029 overpass on Brunel Island (fig 2.4 highlighted yellow). 3.2 (Fig 3.1) Each defined block varies in dimension. The five blocks will be approximately 200m2, 350m2, 400m2, 550m2, and 1000m2. This makes a gross area created of 2500m2.

Fig 2.4 Bristol Borstal Site Overview

Fig 2.5 The existing structures on site

3.3 (Fig 3.2) The blocks will be constructed separately to allow for settling and movement over time. Depending on their usage the blocks will be made from either in-situ reinforced cast concrete and pre-cast concrete slabs or 500mm rammed earth walls. The roof will be made from pre-cast concrete slabs supported internally by galvanised steel trusses and will be covered in wild grasses and secum. Internal walls will vary in material between bare concrete or rammed earth dependent upon location within site. Floors will be flagstone to blend with those found around the site. Elevated floors will be precast concrete overlaid with screed. Windows will be laminated plate glass.

Fig 3.1 The five blocks comprising the borstal

3.4 The blocks will be built upon a grid of 300mm circular pile foundations drilled down to bedrock, as well as 325mm reinforced concrete retaining walls and shallow concrete strip foundations. 3.5 The building as a whole will blend in colour across the site from a soft grey concrete to a warm terracotta earthen wall. 3.6 Figures 3.3 and 3.4 show examples of the type of materials used in the build. 3.7 Electricity will be provided on site by manually operated generators. Alongside tidal turbines there should be sufficient electricity to power the entire complex.


Fig 2.6a Figure ground diagram of key area

Fig 2.6b Figure ground diagram including building project

3.8 Parts of the complex will be occupied constantly, however the admin block will be open from 8am-5pm daily.

Fig 3.2 Visual of the precast walls and green roof

Figs 3.3 & 3.4 Materials used in block construction 7

4 Design and Access Statement 4.7 Block I (fig 4.3) houses the Detention Centre, which accommodates 64 offenders in ten dormitory cells and 8 isolation cells.

4.1 Guidance by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) states that the Design Section should address the following issues:

4.8 Inmates must participate fully in all daily programs. This begins with ‘house duty’ after wake-up at 7am. From then the schedule is as:

■ Use; ■ Amount; ■ Layout; ■ Scale; ■ Landscaping; and ■ Appearance.

08:00 – Breakfast 08:30 – Morning Exercise 09:00 – Lessons 12:00 – Exercise 13:00 – Lunch

14:00 – Workshops 16:00 – Exercise 18:00 – Dinner 19:00 – Dormitories 20:00 – Lights Out

Gross area: 1000sq m

Use 4.2 The proposed borstal complex will be used to provide both punishment and rehabilitation facilities to delinquent youths.

4.9 The gym, dining hall and kitchen are housed within Block II (fig 4.4). Exercise is an important element in the Detention Centre. The machines in the gym are connected to dynamos which generate electricity and help in powering the entire borstal complex.

4.3 This new complex will house low-level young offenders, alleviating the current population issues at nearby Ashfield Young Offenders Institution and also removing them from the influence of high-level inmates. The complex provides accommodation for 64 young offenders in the detention centre, and an additional 36 in secure care homes. 4.4 The borstal works on a privilege scheme. Upon completion of the mandatory sentence an inmate may earn his way through persistent good behaviour to a place in one of eight secure care homes, offering private accommodation and a much higher peer ratio. Points are earned upon completion of educational courses and good behaviour, and with enough points an inmate will eventually earn his way back into society. 4.5 The borstal therefore provides a valuable resource by converting delinquent youths into mature skilled workers. 4.6 At full capacity the borstal can detain 100 youths; this will decrease the population of Ashfield by over a quarter and prevent corruptibility amongst wayward teens. 8

Fig 4.3 Block I

4.10 Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all conducted in the dining hall. Inmates are required to sit in their dormitory groups. Fig 4.1 Site block zoning

Gross area: 600sq m Fig 4.4 Block II

4.11 Block III is the admin block (fig 4.5), and houses the reception, managers office, medical room, staff room, admin offices, staff toilets, and classrooms. 4.12 Intense educational courses will form the vast majority of rehabilitation. Classes will be in groups of 8, allowing a better teacher-pupil relationship to develop. Academic education takes place in the 4 classrooms, with English, Maths and Science courses as standard, as well as numerous other courses such as IT, geography, and history. Gross area: 800sq m

Fig 4.5 Block III 9

Amount and Scale 4.13 Physical education will take place in one of the four workshops contained in Block IV (fig 4.6), as well as outside in the gardens. Such courses as carpentry, pottery, joinery, and many other skilled trades are all taught in the workshops.

4.15 The gross area is appropriate for the site considering its vast area and absence of structure. The design still allows plenty of open space throughout the island for gardens, outdoor activities and parking, not to mention potential future development.

4.14 Tuition of a multitude of skilled trades will help maximise the potential of acquiring a job upon release from borstal.

4.16 Size is an important factor in the design of the borstal. It must appear dominating from certain angles yet soft and passive to the site from others.

Gross internal area: 250sq m

Fig 4.6 Block IV

4.17 The sloping roofs draw the eye downward and make the building appear to make much less of an impact on site (fig 4.9). 4.18 Grass roofs also help to blend the building back into the hills behind the complex.

4.14 Once inmates have completed their mandatory sentence, they will remain in the detention centre until it is proven that they are mature enough to be transferred to the Secure Care Home facility across the complex (Block V, Fig 4.7). This facility comprises eight secure care homes for rehabilitating youths, as well as a recreational social area, plant room and maintenance storeroom.

4.19 Looking south the building appears small in front of the eight storey industrial warehouse (fig 4.10).

Fig 4.9 Section through sloping roofs

Gross internal area: 800sq m Fig 4.7 Block V

Fig 4.10 Elevation showing the minimal impact on site, and material blending

4.20 The construction of a building along the northern side of Brunel Island creates a visual boundary that attracts pedestrians, further emphasised upon approach by the void created by the lock.

Fig 4.8 Stylised program showing room locations 10




4.21 A very strong emphasis will be placed on providing a building with a low energy/carbon footprint. The design will incorporate the following features:

4.22 The five blocks comprising the borstal will be oriented in a radial fashion (fig 4.11)with the roofs pitched to allow light into specific areas at certain times of the day. For instance the detention centre block is oriented to allow indirect morning light inside, and shielded away from the evening sun.

- Provide 2000sq m of green roof; helps to capture rainfall for grey water recycling and is of benefit to local wildlife. - Minimise heat losses through building fabric by the use of highly insulated concrete. Thick walls increase solar thermal properties. - Careful orientation of building to minimise solar overheating, providing ample daylight penetration. Reduces the need for artificial lighting. - Vary building height to maximise exposure to sunlight and daylight for the numerous units. - Heat recovery ventilation from the toilets, kitchen, gym and admin block. - Tidal hydro-turbines generating electricity. - Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems installed in gym to produce electricity from all exercise equipment. - Use of high lumen/watt efficiency lighting throughout.

4.23 The blocks are oriented radially to accentuate the physical separation between the contrasting Detention Centre and Secure Care Home blocks. 4.24 There is ample space around site, both for car parking and gardens but also for future development. Therefore a compact scheme was not required, nor would it have aided in the separation of the Detention Centre and Secure Care Homes (fig 4.13).

Fig 4.11 Radial orientation of site buildings

Fig 4.12 Pneumatic lock-gate arm fully accessible

Fig 4.13 The physical repulsion of the DC and SCH

Fig 4.14 Arrival at Bristol Borstal

4.25 The proposed location of the blocks does not restrict vehicular access through the locks, nor do they impede on the lock gates mechanisms (fig 4.12). 4.26 The open surrounding site means that there will be no overshadowing factors to adjacent buildings, thus no issues regarding rights to light. 4.27 The location of the detention centre to the south of the complex means that it is the first building to be seen upon arrival (fig 4.14). It creates a distinct feeling of unease in the new inmate. 4.28 The orientation of the detention centre also allows for the offenders to be put on public display from across the lock, a humiliating punishment. 4.29 The location of the borstal on the island creates a linear route through the facility and the rehabilitation process (fig 4.15, orange), whilst still retaining full public access across the island (fig 4.15 represented in blue). 4.30 The entrance is tucked away in the shadows of figure 4.12 and must be accessed by foot, forcing external exploration en-route.


Fig 4.15 Routes through the complex and its grounds 13



4.30 The borstal will be a blend of cool con- 4.34 Landscaping is proposed around the crete and warm earthen tones (similar to figures bridge upon initial approach (fig 4.14). There 3.3, 3.4 & 4.10). will be wild bushes planted to match the indigenous flora. 4.31 The appearance and character of the site currently reflect its industrial nature, but is 4.35 The site will incorporate a 20-space car sparsely populated other than the vast overpass park for the staff, but will provide bike racks and bisecting the site. There is virtually no landscap- secure cages to promote alternative transport. ing on the site, and a patchwork of tarmac on the floor does not bear appeal. It is therefore con- 4.36 All of the roofs will be green and will add sidered that the proposed building can only im- to the landscaping of the area. Wild grasses will prove upon the character and appearance of the grow unkempt and soften the harsh edges of the site. concrete blocks. 4.32 The contrasting nature of the various elements of the complex is a highly important concept in the design. Ensuring that the complex delivers differing views from every angle is a strong way of displaying this factor.

4.37 The complex is home to a quadrangle and learning gardens (fig 4.18). The quad will be predominantly grass with limited paving, and ponds to collect rainwater runoff from the sloping roofs.

4.33 The detention centre at high tide appears to disappear into the river (fig 4.16), while at low tide the height of the secure care homes is accentuated.

4.38 The intention is to plant trees which have every potential to become fully established, and so in light of this all garden areas must be excavated to a depth of 1000mm and filled with soil.

Fig 4.17 The surrounding area as green space

4.39 The masterplan scheme dictates that the surrounding area will be converted into parkland, attracting more people to the western end of Spike Island (figs 4.17 & 4.19).

Fig 4.18 Borstal quadrangle and gardens by night

Fig 4.16 Detention Centre at high tide appears to erupt from the swollen river 14

Fig 4.19 Digital model showing landscaped surrounds 15

5 Conclusion

Access CABE’s guidance on Design and Access Statements states that the Access Section of a Design and Access Statement should cover both vehicular access and pedestrian access.

This Design and Access Statement summarises the need for a project such as proposed.

Vehicular Access and Parking

Disabled Access

4.40 As stated previously, the vehicular access to the site is gained by a bridge to the south of Brunel Island. There are currently three pedestrian pathways above each lock, and these will be retained. One will be used solely as the release exit to the complex.

4.47 Due to the very nature of an exercisedriven punishment routine, disabled access was not consiered as a requirement for the inmates. However, staff rooms, offices and toilets are all located on the ground floor with no level change, and so the site is accessible in part to wheelchair users.

4.41 The siting of the complex will not have an impact on vehicular access to the site and will not restrict traffic on any surrounding roadways. On site there are no visual impairments to vehicular access. 4.42 There will be 20 parking spaces on site, and staff will be encouraged to take public transport to work. Should there be one parking space for every three staff, and having sixty staff there will be adequate parking facilities. There is also designated parking for two prisoner transport vehicles, which are oriented so that the rear of the vans face the entrance to the borstal.

The nearby Ashfield Young Offenders Institution is running above capacity and there is need for additional detainment facilities. It can also be justified to segregate the low and high level inmates. The additional detainment facilities provided will cause both Bristol Borstal and Ashfield YOI to operate more efficiently. It would greatly assist in the reduction of youth crime and aims to greatly increase youth employment levels. It is considered that the proposed scheme fits well in its surroundings and does not detract from the the remainder of the site or its industrial context by way of its layout, scale, character or appearance.

4.43 Staff can also access the site by public transport, with bus stops located close to the borstal at the Create Centre and on the A4 Hotwell Road.

Pedestrian access 4.44 There is a pedestrian walkway across the car parking site. This creates a thoroughfare which separates the car park from the borstal and allows safe and easy passage from the car park to the borstal entrance. 4.45 This also minimises the length needed to walk across the site both north-south and eastwest. 4.46 Pedestrian access onto the site has been limited, however a thoroughfare has still been maintained so as to not disrupt pedestrian flow around Cumberland Basin. 16


Appendix 1: Site Location Plan



Bristol Borstal Design and Access Statement  
Bristol Borstal Design and Access Statement  

Design and Access Statement for Year III Architecture Design Project Bristol Borstal