top building aware for 'masterful' scheme giving Bristol's former general hospital a new lease of life

The restoration and conversion of Bristol’s former General Hospital has landed a major property award before it is finished.

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Called The General, the project let by Essex-based specialist developer, City & Country, pictured, topped the Building Conservation category at last night’s 2017 RICS awards, South West.

The scheme, which has already won a clutch of awards, is transforming the Grade II listed building into a scheme that eventually create 206 new homes.

It includes a converted chapel, triplex apartments with glazed upper floors and a penthouse apartment in the unique octagonal tower.

It is also home to Michelin-starred restaurant Casamia, along with the Paco Tapas and Pi Pizzeria restaurants.

It was one of nine award winners at the prestigious annual contest, which celebrates inspirational initiatives in the region’s land, property and construction sectors.

Last night’s event was held at the Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre with Melissa Porter – best known for TV programmes To buy or Not to Buy and Escape to the Country – as the host for the sell-out ceremony, which attracted more than 200 property professionals.

Judges praised The General as “synonymous with masterful design, imaginative use of space and dedicated craftmanship”. The General, they said, combined restoration and new-build residential property with a range of commercial premises.

They added: “Since opening in 2014 it has forged a reputation as one of the most exciting new residential developments in Bristol, setting a benchmark for other developers to aspire to”.

The overall winner was the ground-breaking Gloucester Services on the M5, which not only scooped the prestigious title this year, but also won the Community Benefit and infrastructure property categories.

Other winners included Bath Spa University’s Green Park House student accommodation conversion (Building Conservation), the Stihl Treetop Walkway in Tetbury (Tourism & Leisure) and the Arts University Bournemouth Design Studios and Workshops in Poole (Design through Innovation).

Chair of the RICS South West judging panel Mark Robinson FRICS, director at WYG, said: “These exemplary built schemes are already having a positive impact on their local communities and are actively helping to ensure the South West is one of the best regions to live, work and visit.

“The teams behind them should be incredibly proud as they have shown just what is achievable with vision and an innovative approach to collaboration.

“Despite the ongoing skills shortages in the construction industry, every year our region’s professionals continue to deliver world-class built projects. This just goes to show that we have some of the very best skilled property professionals and surveyors, who together are attracting significant investment into the South West and helping the region to prosper.”

All category winners will go on to compete against other regional winners at the national RICS Awards Grand Final in October in London for the chance to be crowned the overall UK winner in their respective category.