The Architect Café Bar launches


The Architect Café Bar launches


Design West are proud to announce the completion of the first phase of transformation with the opening of ‘The Architect’, a design-led new café-bar & outdoors terrace on Bristol harbourside.

Design West Director Anna Rutherford “For 25 years we’ve brought people together to inspire & involve people in the design of our city. Now we’re opening our doors as we transform our own historic home on the harbour into a new venue for design & placemaking.”

The new space has been designed through collaboration & project managed by Shankari Raj (Shanks) of Nudge Group (AJ 40 under 40 winner 2021), with interior design from film & TV designer Gemma Randall best known for her work on His Dark Materials (BBC) & War of the Worlds (Netflix).

Originally an 18th century sail loft, situated by Pero’s bridge between the YHA & Arnolfini, the renovation project has restored & revealed many of the buildings original features including the charred timber beams. With a nod to Design West’s rich history of architecture & collaboration, a series of brass tiles on the art deco-inspired bar are etched with the names of influential international & local figures including Sir David Adjaye, the Goldfinger Family, local campaigner Dorothy Brown & Stephen Lawrence who inspired our Shape My City programme.

The transformation project was completed thanks to a successful crowdfunder & collaborative effort with sector & city.

Shanks “Without the support of suppliers & built environment professionals coming together to give free time & products this project would not have been possible. A huge thank you to Arup Cook Brown Vitra Giles Pearson Orgin Tilestores BC Ceramics Hydrock Mott MacDonald Fabien Le Dem Altro Whiterock Jim Heal Rudge Brothers, Ecophon, Max Fordham, Emmett Russell Architects, Childs Sulzmann Architects, Kenko Design, RJ Scaffolding.”

Local people & firms have been strong advocates & delivery agents of the project including, Stride Treglown Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios Visit West George Ferguson CBE, Rob Gregory RIBA, Tom Bell, Alec French Architects YTL Construction RIBA South West University of the West of England Bristol City Council Business West Symes Construction James Khosravi, James Koch, Gavin Bridge, The Gallimaufry Taylor Made Metals Hallett Metalworks Chroma Sparks Staple Sisters Triangle Lifts Chaunceys Timber Flooring Chris Tomlinson One Eighty Light.

Continuing the spirit of collaboration ‘The Architect’ Café Bar is now open for everyone in the city to enjoy, & for people in the design, placemaking & built environment professions to get together, share ideas & collaborate.

Dr Anna Rutherford, Design West Director

A huge thank you to everyone who has donated to the project & to the brilliant trustees of the charity, Chair Nick Childs, Prof Elena Marco, David Waterhouse, Cora Kwiatkowski, Stephen Hilton, Sebastian Loyn, Gavin Eddy, Hani Salih & Tom Russell.

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