City & Country sets new record at the WhatHouse? Awards 2023
Award-winning heritage developer City & Country has released a new range of conversion apartments at Factory No.1 in Bedminster, Bristol.
The latest phase, Regent House, is a distinctive Grade II Listed red brick building facing East Street and Lombard Street, that has been painstakingly restored and converted into 70 new one- and two-bedroom homes.
Originally designed by Sir Frank Wills, who also designed Bristol Grammar School, the Edwardian-Baroque style building is one of the most distinctive in the city. It famously served as the headquarters of tobacco manufacturers W.D & H.O Wills, who together founded The Imperial Tobacco Company; one of the world’s largest tobacco businesses.
The Wills brothers launched many popular cigarette brands including Woodbine and Capstan. Towards the end of the 19th century and in response to challenges from the American Tobacco Company, they joined forces with 12 other family-run tobacco manufacturers to create The Imperial Tobacco Company. Regent House became the company headquarters and tobacco continued to be manufactured at the site until the 1970s.
Now this important part of Bristol’s history has been transformed into high-quality new homes.
Unique original spaces, including the former boardroom and associated meeting rooms, have been converted into apartments, whilst original features including a stunning oak panelled corridor, cornicing and fireplaces have been restored and reinstated.
Floors within each apartment have been dropped back to their original level, increasing ceiling heights and maximising light from large period windows.
The building’s most iconic architectural feature – its green domed turret – has also been converted into one of Bristol’s most remarkable new homes, complete with a circular living area.
Externally, Regent House’s striking red brickwork has been enhanced. The bricks, along with the striking terracotta pediment were made at the Cattybrook Brickworks, a prominent 19th century manufacturer in the southwest, noted for its association with the “Bristol Byzantine” and for supplying the bricks for the Severn Tunnel, Portishead Power Station and Fry’s factory at Keynsham.
Internally, the new homes feature contemporary yet original interior designs. Kitchens contrast tonal finishes, including textured bronzed sleek handles, wood and matt finishes, and quartz marble worktops. There are two distinctive specification styles for the bathrooms; a gold and charcoal-black theme, creating a softened industrial feel; and a sleek, elegant white and grey marble theme, with chrome taps and shower fittings.
In homage to the building’s unique tobacco heritage, City & Country commissioned local street artist SP:Zero to create a series of communal artworks in the style of the original cigarette cards that the Wills brothers once manufactured.
Residents benefit from exclusive access to Factory No.1’s private courtyard gardens, whilst entry to the building is via secure gated entry systems and underground car parking is also provided. A concierge handles day-to-day needs for residents.
Factory No.1 lies at the gateway to Bedminster, one of Bristol’s most vibrant areas that is home to an eclectic range of shops, restaurants and bars, just minutes from North Street and with the hustle and bustle of city life just moments away.
Commenting, Simon Vernon-Harcourt, Design and Planning Director at City & Country, said: “Factory No.1’s fascinating tobacco history is not just of local significance, but of national importance. Throughout Bristol there are many Wills landmarks, but Regent House ranks highly. Now people can live in this amazing building, surrounded by its history and heritage but enjoying all the benefits of a contemporary new home.
“Residents are moments from Bedminster’s buzzing independent shops, cafes, restaurants and bars, whilst they can also escape to their own oasis in the city thanks to Factory No.1’s private internal courtyard gardens.”
Prices start from £262,000*
*Price correct at time of publication and subject to change. Computer generated images are indicative only.