Levitt Bernstein Associates - Public Buildings


Colston Hall, Bristol


The Colston Hall is Bristol’s principal music venue. The main hall was opened in 1867 as an assembly hall to rival St. George’s Hall in Liverpool. It has been radically remodelled three times since then, the last occasion being in 1951. A 3 phase project updates all the facilities to create a modern complex attractive to all ages and all musical tastes.

The first phase demolishes an adjoining building to create a spacious new foyer, with its own informal performance area, which forms a link between Bristol’s Centre and West End.

The new foyer building is designed to have an independent architectural identity, expressing the desire to provide Bristol’s public with an entirely new concert-going experience. A combination of musical and contextual references underlies the design and has informed the selection of materials.

The dilapidated High Victorian Lesser Hall building is restored and converted in Phase 2, and Phase 3 improves the main hall, expands and enhances the backstage areas and provides a new get-in. Phase 1 is partly funded by an Arts Council Lottery grant.

At a glance

Client: Bristol City Council

Construction Value £13.7m (phase 1)

Completion: 2009 (phase 1)

Awards: Bristol Civic Society, Environmental Award 2010 South West Built Environment Awards 2010, Project of the Year LABC Building Excellence AWards 2010, Commended RIBA Award 2010, Shortlisted RIBA South West Town and Country Design AWards 2010, Shortlisted