Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AH
Completed in 2010
Alec French and Partners
Bath stone and bronze panels on the façade.
Green glass entrance and canopies over the residential part.
Environment Agency National Headquarters
Horizon House is a working office building and there is no general public access. Access to the exterior at all reasonable times to view the building from Deanery Road, College Street and St. Georges Road. Horizon House participates in Doors Open Day in September, when it is opened to the public.
Horizon House is one of two national head offices for the Environment Agency, a UK government organisation. It is a leading example of an environmentally sustainable building, and has been awarded a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) score of over 85% – one of the highest-ever BREEAM ratings.
Horizon House is part of a mixed-use scheme of offices and apartments called the Deanery Road Development. Inside the agency HQ, open-plan offices face into a five-storey atrium. The main Deanery Road facade features Bath stone, bronze panels and a stunning entrance for the agency in green glass. There are also green glass canopies over the residential entrances. These glass features were designed by artist Kate Maestri in collaboration with the architects. A roof terrace gives stunning views over the city.
One aim of Maestri’s green glass designs is to create a flow of colour around the building and connect different spaces and frontages. They also make a visual link with the stained glass of Bristol Cathedral, diagonally opposite. The glass changes from a transparent green at street level to a stronger colour at the top.
The Environment Agency set out here to provide an office building that was highly successful environmentally. Over 85% of the material from the buildings demolished to make way for Horizon House was recycled in the construction of the new building. Eco-friendly features include solar panels, natural ventilation, ground-source heat pumps (extracting heat from the ground), rainwater harvesting and intelligent lighting systems that reduce how much energy is used. As a result it uses 69% less mains water and about 37% less energy than the office buildings it replaced. The building’s awards include ones from the RIBA, Bristol Civic Society, and as BREEAM Best Office 2010.
The environmental impact of people travelling to work at Horizon House has been greatly reduced. The site has good public transport links, limited car-parking to discourage commuting by car, and facilities to encourage staff to cycle and walk (including bike storage and showers). Horizon House’s efficiency includes the fact that it replaces three separate buildings once used by the agency in the Bristol area.
Photography: ©Frances Gard
Buildings Programme Manager