Feilden Clegg, Populous and Grimshaw on shortlist

Wilkinson Eyre, Grimshaw and Feilden Clegg Bradley with Populous have been shortlisted for George Ferguson’s £91 million competition for a new Bristol cultural venue.

White Arkitekter, Manica Architecture and IDOM are also finalists picked from more than 30 international teams.

Ferguson, an architect and former RIBA president, who became Bristol’s first elected mayor in 2012, announced the shortlist of five teams in his annual state of the city address.

Bristol Arena will be a 12,000-seat venue which is due to open towards the end 2017 and will be located close to the city’s main station in an enterprise zone.

This 70ha site is one of the largest urban regeneration projects in the UK. Over the next 25 years the aim is to regenerate the area and create a well-connected entry to Bristol and a hub for creative, high-technology, specialist engineering and low-carbon companies.

The shortlisted teams have until January to prepare detailed proposals for the arena which will stand on a former diesel depot.

A public exhibition of the schemes will take place in the new year with a decision due in March.

Ferguson said: “We are at a really exciting stage in the development of Bristol’s long-awaited arena. I am delighted with the level of interest that we have had to the RIBA design competition.

“We now have five very capable and talented design teams with a wealth of experience between them drawing up proposals for an arena that will contribute to the regeneration of the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and provide one of the very best experiences for audiences and major acts.”     

RIBA Competitions adviser Lynne Sullivan said: “Overall the quality of the competition submissions was extraordinarily good, but we are satisfied that those chosen for the second stage of the city’s exciting journey, to deliver the heart of Bristol’s new quarter, will bring the right combination of experience and inspiration to the final selection of the Bristol Arena design team.”

The shortlist

  • Grimshaw, MANICA Architecture, Thornton Tomasetti, M-E Engineers and Neil Woodger Acoustics
  • IDOM (with Foreman Roberts and Nagata Acoustics)
  • Populous / Feilden Clegg Bradley / Buro Happold / Vanguardia
  • White Arkitekter with Arup
  • Wilkinson Eyre with Arup