Redevelopment of an historic building
Redevelopment of an historic building

Market Quarter Studios

Bristol, Somerset

Contemporary purpose-built student accommodation 


The historic building on Baldwin Street has been redeveloped to create 92 studio apartments, with a large retail space on the ground floor.

The building dates back to the 19th century, first opening as a music hall in 1892. It later housed the Gaumont cinema, then became the Ritzy and most recently was the site of a Sports Cafe bar which closed in 2007.

The redevelopment breathes new life into the building, while retaining the historic façade and original walls inside. With strict planning regulations in place, the new building retains its ties with the historic importance of Baldwin Street.

The build is centred around a courtyard that is framed with curtain walling on the ground floor and windows to the upper floors providing natural light and ventilation to the building. Beard was responsible for the full fit-out of the project and have been instrumental in the design process of the buildings finished aesthetic appearance, both internally and externally.

Given the cultural significance of the building in the city centre, we wanted to work with a developer who understood older buildings and the importance of preserving key features. Beard was able to deliver on that as well as complete head of schedule, while at the same time creating a fantastic living space for a new generation of students to enjoy in the city, when they arrive in September.

Charles Frost, McLaren Limited

£8 M





McLaren Limited


Stride Treglown

Quantity Surveyor

Faithful & Gould

Form of Contract

JCT Design and Build 2016


A logistically challenging job, in the middle of Bristol's city centre, which was in the middle of construction when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

The front façade and strict planning regulations to preserve the historic building. It posed the biggest risk on the project, due to the unknown state of the original building. There were vast amounts of temporary works initially to keep the façade safe, including a very stringent signing off process from the structural engineer, only allowing removal once every single pour, repair and query was closed out.


Creating openings to form new windows in the front façade needed additional TW and planning consent. Beard worked with the client and local authority to ensure that we could produce a façade that was correct for the planners, aesthetically pleasing and cost effective for the client.

Covid-19 and the pandemic could have delayed the project. However, the team Beard decided not to close the site, but to think of a way forward which included re-structuring the programme to ensure that trades were a safe distance apart and the changing of CLC guidance was adhered to.

More regular cleaning of welfare, sanitising stations and social distancing was all put in place. A strict logistic plan was implemented from the planning stage of the project. With excellent communication with the local authority, agreements were put into place which allowed a one way loading bay, deliveries were taken in and out through one way.

The site team changed the contract programme to allow the ground floor slab to be poured as one of the first activities - it was to be originally poured after the frame was completed. This provided a finished area where we were able to store materials more safely within our confines.


  • Best Student Residential Building - Insider Residential Property Awards 2021
  • BREEAM Very Good