Cabot Circus people
Designing Cabot Circus
With its massive glass roof, imposing stone facades and futuristic-looking car park - there's plenty at Cabot Circus to divide opinion.
Jonathan Bethel is the man to either blame or praise - depending on how you feel about the scheme.
He's from Chapman Taylor, who are the architects in charge of the look of the whole development.
BBC Radio Bristol reporter, Robin Markwell, found him at Cabot Circus and asked what he thought best defined the project.
"Openness I would imagine is the most defining word for it. You look at the blank piece of paper and look at the city grain. We work closely with the city council and the planners to create a new open urban landscape, " he said.
"The roof gives you an element of coverage and an element of drama, in what will be a new urban environment, but the overall effect of the openness and the beauty and the variety you get between this area and Quakers Friars is a wonderful urban design I think."
Jonathan said that the way in which each building responds to the next is very important in the overall design of the Cabot Circus area, with specific characters being assigned to the different streets.
The relationship of one building next to another is also part of the overall urban strategy, along with the materials and colours used, linked by the paving.
Robin pointed out that there has been criticism about the exterior of the building, with people saying that as you come down the M32 the buildings seem to be looking away from you.
But Jonathan disagreed, saying that although there were large buildings at the gateway to the centre, the scale of the buildings within the scheme would change over time.
"We are very keen to get more height and scale into Bristol itself," he added.
But would the new Cabot Circus development be a little more picturesque than say its Birmingham counterpart?
"It's a hell of a lot better than the Bullring. It's a wonderful open urban scene, compared to a covered shopping centre," said Jonathan, hesitating slightly when asked if it could be called the best in the country.
last updated: 23/09/2008 at 15:39