Temple Gate

Bristol, South West England


Standard Commercial Property Developments Ltd

Principal Stakeholders

  • Architects: Aedas
  • Local Authority: Bristol City Council


Plan was commissioned by Aedas Architects to work up a strategy for art in the public realm at the Temple Gate site in Bristol. Our strategy at this complex site addressed array of different outcomes. A clear ambition of all parties was for the site to become a Bristol landmark. As well as contributing to this aspiration, the art was expected to generate a sense of intimacy and some sense of atmospheric separation between Temple Gate and the transport that thunders around it. 


Essential to our strategy was giving due consideration the site’s massive historical and cultural legacy. It sits on parts of the layout of city’s medieval city walls and provides a route that connects some key sites assocaited with I.K. Brunel. It also has a direct sight line to St. Mary’s Church, one of the most important spires in South West England. Shortlisted artists were asked address these important cultural themes in their proposals.


As part of the development of the strategy, Plan devised a series of community events geared to eliciting the personal memories and stories of people living and working close to the site. The project therefore created an opportunity for the scheme not only to celebrate successes in Bristol’s past, but also its contemporary identity. The material generated was used as the basis for text that was incorporated into the successful proposal put forward by Tony Stallard.


Following a competition involving a number of candidates, the artist Tony Stallard arrived at a solution that combines an awareness of contemporary Bristol life with its history and archeology. The material produced from the community engagement exercises was edited to form a narrative of the lives of the local community, with the intention that these would be written into ribbons of steel to be laid next to a line of light tracing the line of the old city walls.