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26 June 2013

Final three designs for front of Bristol Royal Infirmary revealed

Three architects shortlisted in a competition to develop new designs for the front of the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) have revealed their revised plans. 

The three designs, first presented in March 2013, have been further developed following feedback from the public and the panel overseeing the project, which includes representatives from University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol), Bristol's creative community, and art consultancy Willis Newson. 

UH Bristol launched the design competition at the end of last year when six international artists/architects put forward design concepts to improve the appearance of the front of the BRI and address shortcomings in the fabric of the building.

The three shortlisted designs are called 'Veil' by Nieto Sobejano (an architectural office in Madrid, Spain); 'Vertical Garden' by Tham and Videgar (architects and designers in Stockholm, Sweden); and 'Light and Air' by Solid Objectives - Idenburg Liu (SO-IL) (an idea-based design office in New York, USA). 

Members of the public will have the opportunity to see and comment on the designs which will be on display in Cabot Circus (outside the main entrance to House of Fraser) on Monday 1 July from 10am - 8pm and in The Architecture Centre, Bristol until 7 July (for more details see The designs will also be available to view on the UH Bristol website ( and the Bristol Post website ( throughout July.

The proposed refurbishment of the front of the BRI forms part of a wider programme of work currently underway that incorporates a new ward block, helipad and Welcome Centre, due to be completed in 2014. 

Robert Woolley, chief executive of UH Bristol, said: "I'm delighted to see three different, innovative designs for the front of the BRI, which complement the work that is currently taking place on the construction of our bright new Welcome Centre. 

"These designs further enhance our vision of matching the quality of our buildings with the quality of the care we provide inside them. We want to ensure that, what can be an anxious time for people, coming into hospital is not made worse by a poor first impression.

"I would like to encourage our staff, patients and members of the public to take and look and share their views." 

The panel overseeing the project will collate public feedback, meet the three architectural firms in July and then present these findings to the UH Bristol board, which will make the final decision. Pending feasibility and affordability the design could take shape in 2015.