BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

pwpriory
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BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by pwpriory »

BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

By chance I came upon this on Facebook (I have not seen the exhibition advertised anywhere else nor can I find details of it anywhere !)

I do not understand what the picture shows -it certainly doesn't look like an arcade !

To tell the truth, when I first saw the picture, I thought it must another dreary building that they were going to DEMOLISH (maybe it is)
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chris_j_wood
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Re: Bristol &West Arcade proposals

Post by chris_j_wood »

pwpriory wrote: 15 Jul 2017 13:39 To tell the truth, when I first saw the picture, I thought it must another dreary building that they were going to DEMOLISH (maybe it is)
I wish.

It is actually a proposed new (or perhaps reskinned existing) building to replace the Friar Street facade of Bristol & West Arcade. The tall thing on the left of the picture is supposed to represent St Laurence's church tower. The building to the right is part of Marks & Spencers. The existing building is angled back from the building line, and the new building seems to leave the set-back intact at pavement level, but build out over it above that. You can see the existing end wall of the next building (currently carries an advert for Atlantic Properties) at the far end of the new building.

I'd love to see a decent modern building on the site, perhaps a glass curtain wall to reflect the church opposite, a bit like Norman Foster's famous Willis building in Ipswich. But this most certainly isn't a decent modern building. It looks like the architect fell asleep in about 1969, and has only just woken up. Norman Foster (s)he isn't.
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dave m
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Re: Bristol &West Arcade proposals

Post by dave m »

It looks like a structural rendering showing intent to a builder than an effort to gain approval from the public.

Afaik there is nothing behind the old facades naw, it was all cleared out and the walls retained for security
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Re: Bristol &West Arcade proposals

Post by ash »

Took me a while to realise it was the proposed building in the picture, and not an unattractive 60's building to be pulled down!

Come on... it's 2017! Why is it shown like it's deliberately meant to appear dated before they build it?! They could have printed it on some parchment and it would give a similar antique effect
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OLDMAN
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Re: Bristol &West Arcade proposals

Post by OLDMAN »

Could be better as this is all its replacing
BnWA.JPG
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Re: Bristol &West Arcade proposals

Post by ReadingBiker »

The building to the right of that photo (left of M&S back door) and the Town Hall opposite are both Grey brickwork with dark red surrounds to the windows/doors, St Laurence's itself has flint facing, M&S and O'Neils are both Dark Red Brick with light stone window/door surrounds - if it is not going to be largely glass frontage reflecting those then it at least has to fit in - otherwise it will look like the awful building around the corner in market place they just reskinned

https://goo.gl/maps/nStpdvmTGPw
pwpriory
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Re: Bristol &West Arcade proposals

Post by pwpriory »

If they're proposing to pull down this sort of Georgian style facade, it seems strange - one of the better modern facades in Reading, apart from the ground floor, I'd have thought !
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MickEdge
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Re: Bristol &West Arcade proposals

Post by MickEdge »

pwpriory wrote: 17 Jul 2017 16:24 If they're proposing to pull down this sort of Georgian style facade, it seems strange - one of the better modern facades in Reading, apart from the ground floor, I'd have thought !
Exactly what I was going to say, and it sort of matches the O'Neils block. I guess they want to change the windows, as they will be flats.
zag

Re: Bristol &West Arcade proposals

Post by zag »

Good god, that proposal looks so brutalist! Horrendous!
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Re: Bristol &West Arcade proposals

Post by ReadingBiker »

Wow - a first on this board

A proposal that everybody on the board agrees on - well we all agree it would be a travesty for it to go through as it is in that location
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Re: Bristol &West Arcade proposals

Post by Jack Strop »

Don't mind a bit of brutalism myself, if done well, but that isn't the place. Walked past there last night and the current block along that stretch - Brook Henderson House is, at least above ground floor, a rather nice brick building. The ground floor and whole area behind desperately need redevelopment, but surely we can have something more appropriate.
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lizwing
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Re: Bristol &West Arcade proposals

Post by lizwing »

I hope you'll all be registering your objections and reasons if there's a chance to do so.
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pwpriory
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Re: Bristol &West Arcade proposals

Post by pwpriory »

http://www.tvproperty.co.uk/news/seven- ... est-arcade

"Seven shops and 64 flats planned at Bristol & West arcade
Plans for seven retail units with 64 flats above at Reading's former Bristol & West arcade went on display in a public consultation today.
Existing buildings at 173 - 175 Friar Street would be demolished ............The walkway which opens into Friar Street will be moved eastwards towards Market Place. Images show it to be called Market Court.
A planning application is expected within the next few months."

While I am glad to see some prospect of this scheme being taken up again, I still cannot see the need to demolish the "pseudo Georgian" facade in Friar Street.**
Although the proposed replacement does look a LITTLE better in the colour photo than in the b&w (!) I am more and more convinced that, with the similar facades at M&S and the Court House, it offers one of the more pleasing views of Friar Street and is well worth retaining.

**A style which is often derided by architects but which is very popular with ordinary house buyers, for example !
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ash
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Re: Bristol &West Arcade proposals

Post by ash »

I like the idea of a little court in the middle of the development, the only sticking point for me being the demolition of the traditional-style facade on Town Hall square. Surely the conservation area should have red/bronze colour schemes for building facades?

A good example being the former Aldwych house opposite the Town Hall, being brand new and unmistakably modern but retaining the character colours of the surrounding buildings.
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by peterson »

I went to the exhibition on Friday. The plans aren't as bad as the advert looked. The courtyard could be really nice if it's not too shadowed by the flats. The frontage could be changed to red brick if people wanted - it's the council encouraging the beige brickwork, which as I say, isn't as bad as the advert.

Thoughts at typically waffling greater length and some photos: http://readingonthames.com/2017/07/23/1 ... nd-future/
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by ash »

Thanks Peterson!
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MickEdge
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by MickEdge »

Thanks, Peterson. Enjoyed the waffling. The People's Pantry bit I found very moving.
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by peterson »

thanks both. Glad you enjoyed.
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Bam
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by Bam »

Why has Reading hung on to the name of a long defunct building society for this arcade? It always was a boring name and now it is a nonsense. How about some sensible suggestions for a new name? Something appertaining to Reading and not Bristol.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

Good article. My first job after school was in the arcade and it was pretty busy when all the shops were occupied and Marks had the side entrance open. I'm not sure how well a courtyard might work though, what with over looking buildings. Might they not mean it's quite dark? I do like the idea of the open space and is a nice departure from solid facades.

You're right about how the name Bristol and west has stuck. I don't know why Harris 'arcade' is called that, and why both places are called arcades. Anyone know why?

Also, a bit :offtopic1: I know, but I was in the Broad Street mall briefly yesterday. That's a bit of a dogs breakfast now isn't it. Not helped by parts being refloored as well. I met the lady involved with the rebranding/re launch of the Mall a few months ago. Blimey has she got her work cut out for her or what
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ReadingT
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by ReadingT »

One problem is that I can't see it getting much passing trade: it isn't a shortcut and it is easily avoidable/ignored/missed.

That said I'm all for modernisation of an area that is run down.
dave m
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by dave m »

An arcade is a covered way normally lined with shops

Mr Harris developed the Harris arcade.

Presumably bristol and west owned the property at some time?
It probably retains the name for planning so that people know where it is?
The butter market entrance says "corn exchange"

Edit- it was the Market Arcade or Fidler's Arcade prewar- fiddlers were a seed merchant
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

Does it now. Well I've never noticed that. So who was Mr Harris then?
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by readingguy »

Always enjoy reading your thoughts Peterson!

Reported in Thames Valley Property today:

http://www.tvproperty.co.uk/news/seven- ... est-arcade
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by Bob deBilda »

This is the old Broad Street entrance to the arcade. I'm not sure if I remember it.

https://tinyurl.com/y73jp26y

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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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Bob deBilda wrote: 24 Jul 2017 09:35 This is the old Broad Street entrance to the arcade. I'm not sure if I remember it.

https://tinyurl.com/y73jp26y

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I remember that entrance well. Is that the Harris Arcade, I forget and I forget exactly where other end was, somewhere in the Market? You dare not loiter under the grand entrance arch because of the pigeons aloft. The shop on the right corner was a pet shop in my day. I bought a cream hamster there. Hackets music shop was in that arcade and a barbers that took the skin of my neck off and Cottles tea and coffee merchants later moved there. A successful busy arcade in the 1950s-60s.

I don't remember where the other end of the Bristol & West arcade was either, was that also in Broad St. ? I don't recall any shops there except a carpet shop at the Friar St end, where I bought a nice Axminster.
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by windrush »

Poor old George Palmer is just about to get run over by a tram in that photo, much safer in his park! :whistle1: I remember that entrance, I assumed it was still there but presumably not? :? As you can tell my memories of Broad Street are very vague after all these years! :-)

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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by Bob deBilda »

The Harris Arcade is the one in Friar Street/Station Road.

The one in the Broad Street picture, was indeed where Hackett's was. Sainsbury's is now at the Broad Street end, and there's still an ornate entrance on Market Place. I don't recall what it was called, it was just the arcade. I think it was killed when M&S closed their arcade entrance.

The Bristol and West end looks newer, I don't know if the arcade originally had a Friar Street entrance.

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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by lizwing »

That's not Harris Arcade it's the entrance to the covered market that ran between Broad Street and Friar Street, I think. It was there well into the 1950s.
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Bam
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by Bam »

lizwing wrote: 24 Jul 2017 11:51 That's not Harris Arcade it's the entrance to the covered market that ran between Broad Street and Friar Street, I think. It was there well into the 1950s.
Thanks Liz but I can't think where it came out. Thought it joined with the main Market Place.
It was the only covered market, arcade/medina that had any life about it apart from Smelly Ally.
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lizwing
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by lizwing »

I can't remember it well enough to be sure where the other end was, perhaps there's a photo of that end of Friar Street before the ghastly B&W thing was built that would show it.
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by lizwing »

https://www.berkshirestories.org.uk/arc ... et-reading
Looking at this if the Market Street entrance is to the right it looks as though there's daylight at the far end.
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by OLDMAN »

That’s the ‘very’ old entrance

The one I remember in the 60’s/70’s (and up until it closed) was just a low wide opening between the shops - roughly where Tiger is now

I seem to remember the left side was just a wall, that dog-legged left and there was a shop that sold pushchairs, prams / kids stuff, not sure if it was an early Mothercare – the right-hand side was a coffee shop and a handbag or dress shop

You then got to the junction with the Corn Exchange walkway (no shops down that bit) – directly in front was a clothes shop that went through various changes over time

You turned left and in front of you was the side entrance to M&S, then the arcade went right and out through the B&W entrance

There were a few shops down each side of this section – the one I remember the most was a very small newsagent / confectioner as we always got taken in there when meeting my father from work – he was manager at Stones Electrical in the old market
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by Bob deBilda »

The Market Place entrance still bears the name 'Market Way'.

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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by OLDMAN »

And the bit from that entrance to the junction of the other bits isn't covered
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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