M shed's Bristol Architecture tour

Welcome to my architectural tour of the M Shed in this tour I will be talking about Bristol's architectural highlights. 

South Quarter: 

1. First, let’s start in the south of the city at Temples Mead’s station. For many people, this is their first glimpse of Bristol as it is the gateway to the city for many travellers. The station was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel who also designed London’s Paddington Station and, of course, Bristol’s most famous structure, the iconic Suspension Bridge. The original terminus, now known as the Engine Shed, was built in 1839–41. To accommodate the increasing number of trains, the station was expanded in the 1870s by Francis Fox and again in the 1930s by P E Culverhouse. The original part of the station is designed in Tudor revival style.  

2 Bristol City Museum - The Museum and Art Gallery's origins lie in the foundation, in 1823, of the Bristol Institution for the Advancement of Science and Art, sharing brand-new premises at the bottom of Park Street (100 yards downhill from the current site with the slightly older Bristol Literary and Philosophical Society. It was founded by Samuel Steuth and designed by Sir Charles Robert Cockerell. Designed by Frederick Wills in an Edwardian Baroque style work on the new building started in 1901, and the new museum building was completed and opened in February 1905. It was built in a rectangular open plan in 2 stages each consisting of a large hall with barrel-vaulted glazed roofs, separated by a double staircase. The building we now know as Bristol City Museum was when it opened a Museum of Antiquities, as it had been decided during the planning stage that Assyrian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities should be grouped with art in the new structure, rather than remaining with the natural history collections that remained in the old building. Interestingly, stone tools continued to reside with the geology collections within natural history. 

3.Next we move on to Will's East Street Factory Wills No.1 Factory .Here is an image of East Street Bedminster in the early 1980s the reason why I choose this picture is that I will be explaining about a prominent building in the history of south Bristol and Bedminster next in my tour. .WD&HO Wills on the 27th March 1886 opened a new tobacco factory which was reported on by the Bristol Mercury. Frank William Wills was Henry Will’s son. Around 900 Wills employees attended the festivities to celebrate the East Street Bedminster factory which included High tea, dances, speeches and a tour of the new works and an evening concert. Here is a picture of the building and crest from the Wills factory this is the Will's crest. Wills factories produced cigarettes and other tobacco based products there were several factories across the city. A large supermarket now stands behind the old facade of the factory. Over the years their tobacco factories and nearby offices employed many thousands of Bedminster people. The company’s headquarters relocated in the 1970s to premises in Hartcliffe (Imperial Tobacco).After the factories closed in 1988 some were demolished but others were adapted to new, modern purposes. The Factory building is grade 2 listed. This building, made of Cattybrook brick, with decorative terracotta details, has taken on a new lease of life as an arcade of shops.

City centre: 

4. The Bristol and West Tower-.The Bristol West Building Society's headquarters on Broad Quay was the city's tallest building when it opened in 1968 the building was 17 storeys 61 metres tall and was built and designed by Alec West and partners .It was hailed as one of the architectural wonders of Bristol at the time but taste changed and by 1980 it was considered one of the ugliest. The tower was transformed into a luxury hotel the Radisson Blue in 2006 and was reclad with 1350 blue glass panels. THB Burrough a well-known architect who was impressed by the building. Here is The Bristol &West tower dress by Vicky Campbell it takes the form of a partially constructed garment. The dress features two contrasting printed textiles with the grey representing the old building and the blue the new buildings new mirrored exterior. 

5.Spicers Hall-This oak doorway was the entrance to Spicer’s Hall a mediaeval merchants town house on Welsh Back it was lived in by Richard Spicer three times mayor of Bristol and MP the building and its fine gothic ornate doorway was also designed by him. He gifted his home to Mayor and corporation of Bristol in 1377 and from 1459 the hall was used for goods imported into the city by non Bristolians prior to sale. (Photo of Spicer’s Hall door during Demolition 1885) .The front of the Building was z demolished in 1885 for improvements to Welsh Back and the oak door and porch was demolished. The rest of the building survived until the Bristol Blitz of 1940.The hall was also at one point home to the Merchant Venture’s society a prestigious society originally involved with the cities shipping trade. Another Wealth merchant called Robert Sturmy lived there in the 15th century. On The site now is contemporary flats and a café.  

6. The building we know are in the M Shed was a four storey granary before the Second World War and it  served Bristol’s historic docks. The museums name is derived from the way that the port identified each of its sheds. Before its opening in June 2011, the M Shed was the Industrial Museum

7. On the quayside outside you can still see four electrically powered cargo cranes built in 1951 by Stothert & Pitt. A short distance to the west is a much older crane, the sole surviving operational example of a Fairbairn steam crane which is by theOlive Shed restaurant .Built in 1878, also by Stothert & Pitt, it was in regular use until 1973 loading and unloading ships and railway wagons with loads up to 35 tons. It has been restored and you can see it working on certain days throughout the year.  

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