Hengrove Leisure Centre


Client: Bristol City Council

Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Completion date: 2014

Project Team


Peter Fink


Mike Lawless

LA Architects


The Hengrove Plaza design represents an antidotal response to the potential of such a space becoming utilitarian in nature with a harshness matched only by an unforgiving micro-climate.


The central thesis involves merging Hengrove Park with the plaza and in so doing creates a spatial hierarchy that fulfils the following key ambitions:
- Creating a symbolic entry point into Hengrove Park integral with the plaza
- Forming a distinctive landform structure as the back bone to spatial enclosure both intimate and expan¬sive
- Providing contoured embankments allowing DDA compliant access be¬tween the Leisure Centre and the Hospital without the use of retaining walls or steps
- Presenting green aspects to the both the Leisure Centre and Hospital whilst creating a soft focal point and backdrop to the termination of the central boulevard
- Delivering the component features as a catalyst to further the ‘sense of place’ characteristic of successful public realm domains. The overall form follows an allegorical representation of ancient wooded upland spurs meeting lowland flood plains spilling into the space between buildings; in effect drawing the park through the plaza. A series of folds provide sanctuary and intimacy culminating in a broad expanse of paving sufficient to facilitate minor local events.


The project represented close collaboration between the artist, Rick Rowbotham landscape architecture and LA Architects