Bristol Harbour

In the 1760’s Bristol’s trade was at its height and linked with its water. The Bristol Channel provided cargo vessels an easy passage into the city due to the innate tidal-range. However as demand increased and congestion became commonplace the outgoing tide regularly trapped these vessels for weeks at a time. The solution was to dam 80 acres of tidal river to allow visiting ships to remain afloat all the time. Hence the ‘floating’ non-tidal harbour.
In 1809 Bristol was transformed by the opening of the Floating Harbour and over the next two centuries the harbour grew as a busy commercial port until it closed in 1975. Since then, it has been regenerated for leisure, commerce and residence. Today the harbour still maintains a link with the stationary built fabric by providing water transportation for commuters and tourism by way of the Bristol Ferry Company.
Trading History of Bristol


The Bristol Ferry Company run five boats in the Bristol Harbour. The boats run to a scheduled timetable and can also be hired out for private charter. The largest of their boats carries 40 passengers. Information about the company and its operations can be found at:
The company wants a modest ‘station’ building near to the Arnolfini for passengers to buy tickets and embark / disembark in safety. This will be the first of a new series of such ‘stations’ to replace the current provision.
This will test your creative ideas for level change, materials and terminus.

Site Analysis

Day Activity

The actiity of the surrounding areas as well as the site near the arnolfini is very minimal during the day time. With the exception of V shed where there are pubs and restaurants and store open during the day and also where a ferry station is located. These are consideration of how to approach the design of ferry station.



Night Activity

The activity of surounding areas in relation to the site near the Arnolfini is very minimla compared to the activity near King Street and V shed. As shown in the diagram above, the red showing the most activity and the gren being the least activity. The areas with the most activity are areas where there are bars, pub, restaurant and clubs so there is more energy in the night time.

Sun Analysis

Circulation Analysis

Wind Direction




The Proposal is to use this building as a way of attracting person within this area through implementing running ferry tours for tourist as well as making the station a small pub/bar.With analyzation of this area, it was apparent that there was a cerain energy within the surrounding area, in terms of activity and socialisation. I’m proposing to use this scheme to transfer this same energy to what I considered as the center. It was necessary to fit this scheme into this area to where it blends in effortlessly, what better way to do this than to place the scheme within the harbour itself as an extension.




This scheme will eventually promote a type of centre. Because the way the ferries will run, the ferry station will become the centre point of all these tours. This is in relation to the surrounding buildings are already a piece of Bristol's harbour history.


Building to Site Strategy

Building Form Strategy

These iteration show a process of different conceptual massing  proposal for placement of the building. The first proposal was to shape the design to the curvature of harbour side but that in itself limited space.Second iteration shows the proposal for a L shape configuration.The final iteration was to use a normal rectangular shape that would be able to fit the function of the building and keep it simple.


The building analysis composed of shaping the harbour side itself to fit the building.Factrs such as the need for ramp for the handicaped helped in the design of this which incolved placing part of the building within the harbour itself and having it on the water.Other consideration was to keep the top of the strucure from being a negative space but more of a positive space where it would provide an area for socialization and open waiting area.

Initial Perspective Design



Structural Diagram

Building Section

Sustainable Strategy


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