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Bristol Skills Academy

Bristol Skills Academy

Bea Landscape Design was appointed by the project architect to develop a landscape scheme to compliment the development of a new skills academy on the outskirts ofBristolproviding 16-19 year olds and adults with vocational courses such as beauty therapy, catering, construction, engineering, motor vehicle maintenance and horticulture.

Bea formulated a design concept that began with a psychological exploration of the term ‘skills’ which evolved into a series of functional, visual, ordered and exploratory spaces, as defined by these perceptions.

The brief was to develop a hard and soft landscape scheme that is responsive to the end user as well as providing an attractive setting that both enhances the proposed building’s access and egress, and allows visual permeability to the active shop frontages.  This was ultimately achieved through subtle contrasts in paving pattern and colour along with grassed ‘green wedges’ allowing for sitting in isolation, communal gathering of students as well as ‘rest stops’ from shop frontages.

The terraced landscape to the rear of the building compliments the existing topography whilst providing the functional outdoor workspaces required by Bristol College’s horticultural curriculum.

Location Bristol
Type of scheme College Campus
Lead landscape architect Bea Landscape Design Limited
Outline brief

To create both an interactive landscape and a dynamic street space, complimenting the iconic building and forming a gateway to the redevelopment of Hengrove Park in South Bristol.

Client City of Bristol College
Contract value £28 million
Completion date June 2010
Project team

Architect: Archial

Project manager: Capita Symonds

M & E Engineer: Parsons Brinkerhoff

Quantity Surveyor: Gleeds

Planning authority Bristol City Council
Contact details

Technical summary


Bespoke monolithic preformed concrete ‘wedges’ enhance the primary entrance route and provide a casual seating area to the fore of the building. The combination of a striking paving palette and granite seats adds delineation and interest to the frontage streetscape.


A sweeping row of pleached Lime trees follow the radial curve of the building, providing screening and shading benefits to the disabled car parking. Wildflower meadow turf and seeding bring a sense of rurality to the access driveways while more structured shrub and hedge planting adds form and seasonal interest to key focal areas surrounding the building.

Other technical details

Led lighting to the base of the granite wedges

Hard paving details for tree planting


Cowlin Construction Ltd


Marshalls / Greenleaf

Category Individual buildings

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Lead landscape architect

Landscape Institute Registered Practice

Bea Landscape Design Limited

132A 'The Westlands'
Compton Road
West Midlands

Telephone: 01902 424 950
Fax: 01902 422 929

BIM Level: Undeclared

Full practice details

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