Webb Gray are delighted to announce the opening of the new Simplyhealth headquarters on Westbury Road, Bristol. Located within the Whiteladies Road Conservation area and in the vicinity of a number of listed locations, the site is situated two miles north of the centre of Bristol and affords magnificent views overlooking the historic downs from the northern boundary. A former derelict bank was demolished in order to make way for Simplyhealth House which incorporates the existing two beneath ground level parking storeys to form an imposing, contemporary eight storey office block. It was important to Simplyhealth to follow their mutual values and act responsibly towards our communities and therefore Simplyhealth House has been designed and completed to minimize energy use and carbon emissions whilst also use 99% recycled materials and use renewable energy sources as such seeing solar panels.
Webb Gray designed the building to create a suitable "gateway" in response to the sites prime location at the edge of the urban fabric. The composition of the massing breaks the new building into three clearly defined and expressed parts in order to maintain a finer grain to the building/ elevations. The arrangement steps across these three parts- the lowest adjacent to Harper House and the tallest onto Redland Hill, and in doing so responding to the topography. Webb Gray has meanwhile designed the buildings scale in respect of the distance views across and along the Downs by introducing a varied roofscape including a vertical tower element that echoes in scale the taller buildings that line the East side of the Downs. Webb Gray took care in external material choice which have been selected and detailed in a manner that refers to the site and Bristol more generally. The important key elements are the walling materials. The references have been 18th and 19th century brickwork and contemporary buildings that have used this material, in particular in a manner that is modern yet upholds clear references to tradition. Webb Gray's design strategy for Simplyhealth House was to develop elevations that used orange/red multi to bring to life the appearance of the building as the light changes across it. The concept was to seek an elevation that is not mechanical in its appearance but one that has subtle texture and variety. James Glover a spokesman for Simplyhealth describes how "we are very proud of our new building, which will provide a much brighter and spacious open plan working environment for our employees in Bristol."