St. Nicholas House, Bristol, UK

Alec French & Partners
Date Built
Completed 1959
High Street & St. Nicholas Street
This building was once home to the Commercial Union Group.  The Pevsner Guide for Bristol explains how the area around High Street was badly damaged in 1940.  Andrew Foyle, the author of that guide, explained to me that this was, prior to the bombing in 1940, the site of "a fine Victorian shop."  If you click on the link below you can see the shop in an old photograph.  It is the second building on left of the image.

Despite its appearance, (and comments that you will see below suggesting that this is a 1930s art deco building) Andrew Foyle points out that, "... it is entirely of 1959 and not a restoration of a 1930s building" adding that, "The date of the building is on a plaque by the entrance at street level."

The Aviva heritage website says that when the Commercial Union moved into its new premises they had 150 members of staff.  "Branch manager, Mr Holley, proudly told reporters that the rest room in the typing pool was 'almost a miniature bedsitter'. The building also included a roof terrace with views across the city."

In more recent times the present owners "The Office Group" commissioned the architectural practice of dMFK to "... bring out the features in this 1930s Art-Deco building"  and they add that they are, "... proud to be one of the greenest buildings in Bristol with a host of environmental features."

dMFK say of the project that, "The robust 1930's stripped back art deco building is a perfect backdrop for this stylish serviced office provider with hefty sustainability requirements. ... Sustainability features include a roof garden, solar hot water, rainwater harvesting, water conservation ..., wind turbine ..., sensor lighting ..., low energy lighting, recycling on each floor .... and the use of recycled materials ..."