Arnolfini Arts Centre Conversion

By the 1970s the warehouse had been empty for some years, and the last working ships had left the docks in 1973. In that year Building Partnership (Bristol) Ltd. designed the conversion, which was carried out in 1975 by JT Building Services. The Arnolfini, an arts exhibition space, shop and café occupied the ground and first floors, with offices above. The conversion involved replacing all the interiors with a reinforcedGlossary Term concreteGlossary Term structure, under a metal clad pyramidal roof with glazed mansardGlossary Term sides and services housed in the apex. The external structure was retained almost intact, with new window frames and glazed entrances. It was the first sign of the regeneration of Bristol's docks that is still going on, and set a standard for the sensitive adaptation of an industrial building.



Composition of cement (calcined lime and clay), aggregate (small stones and rock chippings), sand and water. It can be poured into formwork or shuttering (temporary framing of timber or metal) on site (in-situ concrete) or pre-cast as components before construction. Reinforced: incorporating steel rods to take the tensile force. Pre-stressed: with tensioned steel rods. Finishes include the impression of boards left by formwork (board-marked or shuttered), and texturing with steel brushes (brushed or bush-hammered), picks or hammers (pick-hammered or hammer-dressed).


A roof of two pitches, the upper one less steep than the lower.


Of concrete: incorporating steel rods to take the tensile force.