Bristol's 100 Best Buildings

Author:

Mike Jenner

Price: £16.95

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Architect Mike Jenner sets himself a seemingly impossible task: to choose Bristol’s 100 ‘best’ buildings from the Middle Ages to the present day. We can all admire St Mary Redcliffe church and John Wood’s Corn Street masterpiece. But, having chosen an obvious handful of great buildings, how does one then go on to rate the Georgian elegance of the city’s great terraces and squares against the polychromatic exuberance of Bristol Byzantine? How decide which is ‘better’: the imposing Arts and Crafts Downleaze, tile-hung and multi-gabled, or the 1930s Connell Ward & Lucas’s severe Concrete House in Brentry? Or choose between the delicious Art Nouveau frontage of a former teashop on College Green and the calm and repose of a seventeeth-century almshouse on St Michael’s Hill? Changing fashion adds to the dilemma. The author includes the Robinson Building, Bristol’s first ‘skyscraper’ which had a mixed press in the 1960s and yet is now beginning to earn grudging acclaim and is a candidate for listed protection. He also – although only just – finds room for The Council House on College Green which he generally dislikes but admires for its Lutyens-inspired end pavilions and impeccable craftsmanship. This is, of course, a very personal choice, and the point of this entertaining and controversial book is to get people looking, talking and arguing about Bristol’s built environment. Mike Jenner reminds us that, outside London, Bristol has a far wider, and more varied, range of building types from all periods than any other town or city in the country. Only by cherishing the best of the past can we hope to encourage excellence in the future. The author’s sparkling commentaries are beautifully complemented by Stephen Morris’s superlative photography. 160pp ISBN: 978-1-906593-61-2 Lavishly illustrated in full colour Softback

Mike Jenner

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