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Hotel, big wheel and floating restaurant planned for harbourside

By bristol247, Wednesday Jan 11, 2017

Bristol’s own version of the London Eye could be joining a new luxury hotel on land next to Bordeaux Quay.

The £24 million scheme also includes a floating restaurant and a covered area for market stalls and events, which developers promise will create “an atmospheric route” to Lloyds Amphitheatre.

The view today of of the site of the proposed new hotel and wheel – with the temporary ferris wheel on Anchor Square visible

Bristol architects CODA have been working on designs for the scheme, and discussions have started with Hotel Indigo to potentially launch the 125-bed new hotel.

Manor Property Group development director Mark Bailey said: “We’ve been working on this scheme for around 18 months, having assembled an excellent team to deliver each element of this exciting offer.

“It would provide a new focus in the heart of Bristol bringing jobs, investment and extend the city’s leisure use.

“We would be looking to work with local restaurateurs to occupy those elements of the scheme and have already had some preliminary talks with the city council.”

The proposed new hotel’s rood terrace would offer views across the Floating Harbour

The new hotel’s reception

CODA Architects are best known for their work in healthcare, which in Bristol includes an extension and refurbishment of Bristol Haematology & Oncology Centre and a specialist cardiac unit for the BRI.

Founding director Ronnie Rennoldson said that he is especially pleased with the design for the hotel which appears to be floating in mid-air.

He said: “The ground floor would have a small reception area for the hotel widening out to a glass open space. In effect the hotel is on stilts floating above the public area.

“We’ve designed a ‘roofed over’ public space which itself, creates an atmospheric route to the existing Lloyds Amphitheatre, as well as an all-weather protection for outdoor markets and events.

“The 125-bed hotel has restaurants and a bar beneath and enjoys views of the harbourside location from a rooftop restaurant.”

Larger than the temporary ferris wheels that have been constructed on Anchor Square and Broadmead in recent years, the new 55m-high wheel would offer unique views across the city centre, while the floating restaurant would be accessed from a pontoon outside the new hotel.

Waterfront Square – on which the new hotel could be built

The scheme would be built on land currently known as Waterfront Square, which has hosted events including the Spiegeltent at Christmas and summer festivals including Grillstock.

It was also the site for Electric Hotel, a Mayfest show from 2010 which saw performers inside a four-storey hotel built out of shipping containers while the audience watched, listening through headphones.

Electric Hotel at Mayfest 2010

The land was once earmarked for a world-leading performing arts venue, due to be known as the Harbourside Centre.

In September, 1997, the chairman of the Arts Council even arrived into the Lloyds Amphitheatre by helicopter bearing a cheque for £4.3m to get the project started.

Due for completion by 2002 at a cost of £89 million, the building would have housed a 2,300-capacity concert venue, plus a smaller 450-seat auditorium.

But the ambitious scheme was shelved. A Harbourside Centre board member told Venue magazine: “They killed it because it was expensive…

“Basically the project would have taken nearly a quarter of their money for the next five years.”

Some £5m of public and private money had already been spent on the project, plus £1m on an underground car park beneath what it is now Millennium Square.

The Harbourside Centre – what might have been

An exhibition showing visuals of the new hotel scheme is on show until January 18 in the windows of CODA Architects on Queen Charlotte Street


Read more: Eating while suspended 100 feet in the air

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