Sensitive development in a key location
We developed 66 Queen Square, a six-storey building in the heart of Bristol city centre. It combines Georgian elegance with a total of 5425sqm of modern, grade A office space.
The new development provides a visually pleasing gateway into Queen Square from the city centre, enhancing the impression of the square itself. This once-derelict site has been transformed making an important contribution to the city’s office accommodation.
The development supports employment in the city, bringing investment into the immediate neighbourhood, as well as to the local and national economy.
We purchased the site in 2012. While the building was still under construction, 90 per cent was pre-let to KPMG and Swedish bank Handelsbanken. The property was then sold to Aviva for £33 million, reflecting a record yield for the Bristol market of 4.94 per cent.
Modern convenience in a traditional setting
The design approach and method of construction were sympathetic to the historical setting. Simultaneously, it maximised the functionality and demands of a modern-day office. The refurbishment of the Georgian terrace section, for example, used traditional materials for the restoration elements.
By acting as both developer and contractor on this project, we were able to deliver exactly the solutions tenants demanded. This included significant changes to the building’s design, something a typical developer/external contractor relationship would find it hard to deliver.
Construction flexibility enabled us to negotiate an extension to KPMG’s lease from 10 to 15 years. This was largely due to our ability to offer a bespoke design solution.
Likewise, when it came to selling the property, we were able to commit to Aviva’s requirements with ease. Our flexible approach delivered further significant benefits to both parties.
The project demonstrated our commitment to an injury free environment (IFE). This was reinforced with monthly IFE-themed breakfasts for the whole workforce, which peaked at nearly 100 operatives from 15 different nationalities. With simple acts like learning each other’s names, the whole site team was able to develop a sense of community and mutual respect.
Weekly workshops allowed contractors to collaborate together as safely and efficiently as possible, fostering a shared ownership of the work.
The project delivered a number of green solutions. The building has achieved an excellent rating and EPC A energy efficiency rating. It has completed the regeneration of Bristol’s most important Georgian square with a sensitive and empathetic design.
The project was also a showcase for our commitment to building information modeling (BIM) technology. The project’s challenging blend of new build and refurbishment allowed us to showcase how BIM can help manage risk and complexity, as well as reduce waste.