St Bartholomew's Hospital | Bristol | 2019
- HISTORICAL RESEARCH
- CONCEPT DESIGN
- COMPUTER GENERATED IMAGES
- GRAPHIC DESIGN
Wall graphics showing the changes to St Bartholomew's Hospital from 1175 to 2020
CLIENT: VERVE PROPERTIES LTD
The re-development of the St Bartholomew's Hospital site in Bristol, now in use as offices, uncovered some interesting history and our client wanted this to be displayed in the central reception area.
The brief given was very clear in audience and context, however, the content was something to be explored with some research. The offices sit on a very old part of Bristol City and some of the elements found in the rear courtyard date from the medieval ages. Some historic architecture still stands today and it can be dated back to the 12th Century!
As briefed..."We want to give people in the offices some reference to this history, by creating a really good graphic piece to sit on the main back wall of the meeting area". The image to the right demonstrates where the end graphic would be displayed.
"...recreating some form of cloister/gothic architecture that could have been on the site of the courtyard...it can be quite imagined as there is little if no evidence of what was there."
"From that is would be great to create a 3D model that we would use to suggest what was there. This could form the centre of our graphic wall which we will use to tie other images and text."
Our research stated with images and documentation supplied by the architect. These images showed some drawings and photographs of parts of the site along with some maps dating back to the 1700s.
A site visit was arranged and lead by the architect. Photographs were taken and a sketch-up model of the offices supplied.
Bloc ArchViz invested in several books documenting the history of Bristol including...
- Bristol Past and Present by J.F.Nicholls and J Taylor printed in 1881
- Bristol, written by M.D Lobel and E.M. Carus-Wilson; Chilcott's Descriptive History of Bristol
- Several archaeological reports from various societies in Bristol.
The 277 page excavation report of St Bartholomew's hospital by Roger Price with Michael Ponsford as part of the Council of British Archaeology proved most helpful.
The research was organised into three time frames which we felt would help show the major architectural changes the St Bartholomew's site went through.
This in depth research brought to light further questions... like how the first building on the site (the aisled hall built in 1175) was constructed?
To help determine the type of construction, research began into aisled halls and barns. A visit to a couple of aisled barns in the Cotswolds' proved helpful in understanding the construction above ground of the hall.
Ken Bonham from greatbarns.org.uk was very helpful in shedding light on the possible Cruck frame construction along with some books on Cotswold stone barns.
A LOOK THROUGH THE AGES...
The first step in creating the wall graphic was to visualise, firstly the aisled hall that was built in the 12th Century secondly, the hospital that was there in the 13th/14th Century and lastly, the 16th Century school.
1175 AISLED HALL
The excavation report gave us a complete floor plan of the original aisled hall. The hall was 17m x 17m (although not quite square) with the south end being slightly longer. It had two arcades and a large undercroft which was probably used as a store. It is probable that the hall was used domestically by the De la Warre family that built it. Research into the other Norman buildings found in Bristol and research about aisled barns gave us some idea as to what the building above ground looked like.
13th-14th CENTURY HOSPITAL
The excavation report gave us some more information on how the aisled hall was converted into a church. Giving us precise details on many aspects like; wall thickness and the buildings footprint. The archeologists involved with the excavations gave some idea on how the main building could have looked and our research into other 13th Century churches helped us visualise what 'could have been'.
The other buildings on the site were; a guest house, masters lodgings, a bakehouse, a grainers, latrines, a women's dormitory plus a large kitchen/refectory and male dormitory. We had footprints for all but no information for what the buildings looked like above ground.
We researched medieval buildings and how they were built to help us design these additional buildings.
16th CENTURY BRISTOL GRAMMAR SCHOOL
We were very lucky to find some drawings of the Grammar School as it had been in the 16th Century.
Combining all the images, text and research together into the final wall graphic...
Amazing! It is truly wonderful! Massive effort, brilliantly executed. We need to ensure it is properly included in the City's historical library...