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Exterior by the river

Brickwork and window detail

Exterior - north side

External stairs and brickwork

Create Ecohome

Exterior of Create Ecohome

Create Centre exterior

Location

B Bond Warehouse, Smeaton Road, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, BS1 6XN

Dates

Originally built 1906-8. Eco home addition in 1996.

Architect

Design – Docks Committee Engineer. Builder – William Cowlin and Sons. Eco home – Bruges Tozer Partnership.

Style

Industrial warehouse

Listed Status

Grade II

Materials

B Bond Warehouse: Red brick with blue engineering brick base.

Reinforced concrete frame constructed according to ‘Coignet’ system.

Other features include: Pennant stone steps, terracotta details and a Welsh slate roof.

Eco home: Brick and timber cladding. Local, recycled and sustainable materials used.

Original Function

Tobacco warehouse

Building type

Tobacco warehouse

Visitor Access

B Bond Warehouse houses the Create Centre, Ecohome and the Bristol Record Office, all of which are open to the public. Please check their websites for opening hours.

Links

Create Bristol

Bristol Record Office

Pastscape

Know Your Place

Key Facts

  • First major English building with a pioneering type of concrete frame
  • Now houses an environment centre and educational ‘Ecohome’
  • Huge landmark from Bristol’s western approach roads
  • Inventive reuse of disused warehouse space

B Bond warehouse, which currently houses the Create Centre and the Bristol Record Office, towers majestically over the Cumberland Basin – gateway to Bristol’s historic floating harbour. It started life in the early 1900s as a ‘bonded’ tobacco warehouse (where goods can be stored without paying duty). The style is simple but quite grand. It is nine storeys high, with red brick walls and a blue brick base over a concrete frame.

 

The building features the Coignet reinforced concrete system, developed by French engineer Edmond Coignet (died 1915), which used wires in addition to tension and compression bars. Immediately to one side of the Create Centre (opened in1993) is the ‘Ecohome’, which demonstrates sustainable lifestyles. In 1996 the Bruges Tozer partnership won a city competition to design and build this. Its south-facing position maximizes the use of energy from the sun.

This building is called the B Bond warehouse as it is close to two other similar bonded warehouse buildings from the early 1900s (A and C Bond). Other features of B Bond’s construction include Pennant stone steps, terracotta details and a Welsh slate roof. It is owned by Bristol City Council and, as well as the Bristol Record Office and the Create Centre, contains a variety of sustainable businesses and voluntary organizations. The Create Centre’s Ecohome is open to the public and showcases ideas about how to promote energy efficiency in buildings and in the everyday home. It is super-insulated and demonstrates green and economical use of energy and water-saving appliances.

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