Making the old new again

Recently I attended a conference set in the site of the Bristol Paintworks. I was impressed with how this derelict set of buildings had been transformed into a vibrant work and living space. It also seemed to illustrate the changing face of the UK’s working life as it transformed from the primary and secondary phase of industry out into the new world of the tertiary and quaternary sectors that we see today. One of the most striking features was the change in the glass of the building. Were it was a single paned original I notice that they had used double and triple to increase the buildings warmth. A role that could have been undertaken by an Emergency Glaziers in Leicester company and located at links including

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The idea behind the change is to initial take and eyesore on the urban landscape and keep it working, keep it relevant. It would have been all to easy to have simply demolished the site and used the land for another purpose and built a new structure. The question is though, why bother? If the structure is sound why not use the existing buildings and augment them with new designs and techniques to bring them up to date? The development team of the Paintworks believed that here was an opportunity to build a community in a place that the local community recognised and was loath to lose as it had provided employment in its old state for decades and was known spot in the city as being culturally important and whilst a relic, Not an unloved one. For the developers the intimate and close style of the site meant that it was perfect for there vision of an up and coming business industry area hat contained new ideas and tech savvy companies needing a base but also needing to be around similar companies with the same vision if not the same products or services.

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Diversity itself was not an issue and one would hope that the Victorian entrepreneurs that created the Paintworks would approve of the spirit that is being shown there. For example, the conference I attended was to do with online bookkeeping. This was held by a relevantly new company that are challenging the way we do our accounts and bookkeeping. The office space is open and fresh and it allows the incoming business a blank canvas to work for so that they do not need to focus on what cannot work but can look at what can. They also save the expense of needing to build there open offices as the interior part is much cheaper. A pleasing outcome all round. Hopefully we can look at other sites being redeveloped this way.

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