Cabot Circus

We’re proud to have worked on innovative and inspiring solutions to preserve this historical site within a modern retail project in Bristol.


Project Details
  • Client

    The Bristol Alliance (Land Securities / Hammerson / Morley Fund Management)

  • Architect

    Chapman Taylor

Waterman provided structural and civil engineering services for the £500m development by the Bristol Alliance (a partnership between Land Securities, Hammerson plc and Bristol City Council).

Cabot Circus is a two-part scheme offering retail space totaling 97,000m² and is one of the largest regeneration projects to hit the South West of England that includes:

• 2 department stores

• 15 large stores

• 131 shop units

• 242 residential units

• 2,616 car parking spaces

The Quakers Friar scheme includes refurbishment of the 13th century Friary Building, and the development of new retail units and an 18-storey residential tower, generally constructed with reinforced concrete on piled foundations. These foundations were designed and constructed to bridge archaeological remains of previous Friary buildings. With four floors of retail, Harvey Nichols provides the main store focus to this area.

The main scheme uses 11,000 tonnes of steelwork and comprises six individually designed retail buildings (with House of Fraser occupying the anchor store) over a site wide service yard, including plant space. Several of the retail buildings incorporate large clear span cantilevers of up to 6m in length, which proved to be structurally challenging.

The main scheme at Cabot Circus is also home to the largest glass roof constructed in the UK.

Another unique element of the development is the distinctive curved pedestrian bridge connecting the multi-storey car park to the main building. Designed in conjunction with architect Wilkinson Eyre, the footway is enclosed within a glass canopy with varying inclined and parallel roofing, soffit profiles and side cladding, which enhance the sweeping curve form as it passes over the main road.

The main structure comprises a fully welded variable steel box deck, the shaped steel box beam consisting of constant sloping web plates and two inclined soffit plates. The support columns are tapered, eccentrically inclined and alternately reversed in direction to blend seamlessly with the deck structure and footway canopy.

Related Projects

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  • Victoria Gate

    Leeds has undergone many exciting regeneration projects in recent times, not least of which is Victoria Gate, part of the historic Victoria Quarter in the city centre.

  • Bullring

    The Bullring redevelopment site is located at the heart of Birmingham city centre and when constructed was the largest city centre retail regeneration project in Europe.

  • St James's Market

    This flagship scheme forms part of a £450m development of the historic St James’s area in the heart of London.

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