Landmarks: Bristol

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The Independent Culture
Post-war Bristol has been slow to develop. The monstrous new buildings that have plagued other cities are not so evident here and hardly a street exists without something to delight the eye. My favourites range from the Arts and Crafts building in Broad Street to the wonderfully ornate Byzantine granary warehouse in Little King Street.

Also on my list are St Mary Redcliffe, Elizabeth I's fairest church and the Cathedral, the only hall cathedral in the country, which has recently been enhanced by the removal of an adjacent major route into the city. Outside the city centre is Kings Weston, one of Sir John Vanburgh's smaller mansions, which is a striking building with unusual chimney arcading. Nearby there is a delightful group of thatched and stone-roofed retirement homes, designed by John Nash and planned around an informal green.

Fortunately, good modern architecture is at last being established in Bristol. A fine example of this is Lloyds' new stone and glass headquarters on the waterfront, designed by Ove Arup and beautifully crafted. Many of the modern interiors in the city centre are also worthy of note, such as the YHA in Prince Street and the centre for architecture which is being developed in an old sail-maker's building on the waterfront.

The style and scale of Bristol's architectural skyline is of infinite variety and the city is succeeding in coming to terms with the treacherous environment of modern architecture but, like any other city, it needs to be vigilant in order to avoid the horrific mistakes of the 20th century.

Peter Ware is an architect based in Dowry Square, Hotwells, Bristol

(Photograph omitted)

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