BDP wins design competition to create 100% affordable climate smart homes in Bristol city centre

Announcement / New homes / News


Brighter Places, has announced  BDP as the winner of its competition to design a 100% affordable home development at Midland Road in Bristol city centre. The development will create a flagship scheme of around 70 energy efficient homes.

The competition, facilitated by Bristol Housing Festival, invited architects with an office in the West of England Combined Authority area to submit solutions-focused proposals for a 100% affordable development of exceptional quality.  The aim is to deliver a scheme of much-needed affordable homes in the local area that is as climate smart as possible to reduce costs for residents and supports the city’s climate goals.

BDP’s winning design shows how excellent living spaces can be created in a way that is climate sensitive and delivers biodiversity net gain in a city centre location.  The design ensures that all apartments are dual aspect, with a garden space at ground floor level and a striking elevation along Midland Road.

BDP was announced as the competition winner following a review of designs by five finalists – Alec French, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, BDP, Ferguson Mann and Pick Everard – by a judging panel that included representatives from the Old Market Community Association (OMCA), a local councillor plus Brighter Places residents and staff.

The judges liked many aspects of BDP’s design including the curved section of the building that echoes local architecture, the resident garden space that creates planting areas, the consideration of mechanical and electrical servicing and a design that accommodates Passivhaus principles.

Adam Darby, Associate Architect at BDP, said, “Our climate positive scheme is designed around the needs of Bristol’s residents. Our use of sustainable principles will have a positive effect on the health of the people who live there and on their day-to-day quality of life.

“We are so happy to have won this competition and to be working with Brighter Places and the Bristol Housing Festival to deliver this game changing development. Healthy buildings, which are safe, warm and affordable to run, mean happy residents with a strong sense of belonging. We are sure that the design principles that will be implemented within Midland Road will set a precedent for future healthy housing in the city.”

All the finalists impressed the judging panel with their high standards and creativity in response to the challenge to design low carbon, energy efficient homes that residents can afford to run and create a sense of community and belonging.  The panel carefully considered all aspects of each finalist’s design before providing feedback to Brighter Places to inform their final decision.

Sally Gilbert, Homes Director for Brighter Places said BDP’s striking and thoughtful design will help us deliver a unique development of 100% affordable homes in Bristol city centre.  As an innovative Bristol housing association committed to providing much-needed, energy efficient affordable homes, we were impressed by the balance of comfortable living space, climate smart elements, biodiversity net gain and Passivhaus design within BDP’s proposal.  We look forward to working with them over the coming months to develop their design further.

“I would like to thank everyone including local community representatives and groups who contributed their ideas and perspectives during the competition process with the aim of creating a scheme that brings homes to the area and reflects the character and needs of Old Market.”

Peter Kennedy-Watson, Brighter Places resident engagement panel chair and judging panel member said, “It was important for the judging panel to consider how the shortlisted designs could both become a comfortable home for people and foster a sense of belonging and community.  I am pleased that Brighter Places are placing residents at the heart of their decision making and look forward to seeing how the winning design develops to meet their needs.”

Local councillor and fellow panel judge Councillor Yassin Mohamud said: “It is vital that the Midland Road development creates good quality, energy efficient affordable homes in the local area.  I look forward to seeing how BDP’s winning design develops to balance the demand for comfortable, liveable homes in the city centre with the needs of the local community.”

As part of the competition process, the five finalists refined their original designs following feedback gathered in stakeholder engagement sessions with Bristol city council, Bristol Civic Society, OMCA, The Dings community group and other local community networks and groups

BDP will now work alongside Brighter Places and local stakeholders to develop the design further ahead of submitting a full planning application next year.

Watch Harry Evans from our Development team and BDP  talk about this exciting project