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RESTAURANTS & BARS PROJECT REPORT


BUILDING PROJECTS


WAPPING WHARF BRISTOL


Eating on the dock of the bay


Bristol’s Wapping Wharf is being revamped into a new food hub for the city, echoing the area’s historic past with a bustling new street plus a restaurant yard made of shipping containers. Teodora Lyubomirova reports


ristol’s vibrant food and drink scene has become a vital part of the city’s cultural makeup. The city, which was recently described as a “gastronomic boom- town” by The Sunday Times, is renowned for its strong focus on sustainable food and passionate independent retailers. Bolstering this reputation is Alec French Architects’ mixed-use scheme in Wapping Wharf, which is already making waves as it includes the latest ‘gastro hub’ in Bristol harbour.


B


The Bristol-based architects’ extensive masterplan will see the last undeveloped area in the city centre transformed into a mix of residential buildings, offices, a hotel and retail units, with a clear objective to become a new food and drink destination on the south side of the harbour.


Tough beginnings


The scheme, which has been over a decade in the making, was the brainchild of Stuart Hatton, managing director and founder of developer Umberslade, which in a joint venture with Muse Developments is bring- ing Wapping Wharf to life.


Umberslade bought the largely vacant


site, located at the eastern end of Wapping Wharf between Floating Harbour and Avon New Cut, in 2003, and the scheme was given the go-ahead in 2006. However, start on site was delayed until 2014 due to funding difficulties fuelled by the financial crisis. “No one wanted to lend me money,” Hatton explains drily to ADF at a table in Mokoko, one of the cafes at the site. It was only after collaborating with the local council and securing Section 106 funding for the provision of housing – one of the residential buildings in the


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK ADF APRIL 2017


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