Bristol University

Sir George Oatley, Bristol, 1925


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Bristol University 

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  • Bristol University    
  • The lower storey of the tower is occupied on the Queen    
  • The tower is 17m square at the base and 60m tall    
  • The entrance hall    
  • The roof of the entrance hall    
  • View from the top of one of the staircases looking towards the entrance and the south window    
  • The crush hall, leading direct from the entranc staircase on the right to the Great Hall on the left    
  • The great hall, facing north    
  • The great hall, facing south towards entrance    
  • The arts library in the east wing    
  • The reception room in the west wing    
  • Main floor plan    

Gothic style university building with administrative space, library, classrooms and lecture theatre for the faculty of arts

The architect originally prepared two schemes, one in the Gothic tradition and the other on classic lines. The Gothic style was chosen, and the design makes use of the freedom of this style, which allows a flexibility of design both in plan and elevation well-suited to the constraints of the site - a constrained area at the top of a hill - without the limitations imposed by a symmetrical treatment.

The main entrance is under a 60m-tall tower and leads directly into a spacious entrance hall, through which the main axis of the building runs.

From here stairs lead up to a crush hall which forms the basis of the cross axis of the design. From this hall, corridors lead towards left and right, with doors straight ahead giving access to the Great Hall. The hall, 30m long and 15m wide, is lit by large windows in each of six bays on either side, and covered with a hammer-beam roof of English oak.


  • Completed: Jun 1925
  • Sector: Education
  • Address: Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, United Kingdom

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