The Architecture Centre Bristol

Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA Map
Wed–Fri 11 am–5 pm, Sat–Sun 12 am–5 pm

Founded by the architectural community in 1996, The Architecture Centre has developed a diverse programme for a wide audience. The Centre is part of a network of 23 architecture centres in the UK, and we were joined in the South West in 2006 by the Architecture Centre for Devon and Cornwall.
Architecture is a unique art form in its universal relevance. Even if not consciously considered by everyone, the comfort, effectiveness and aesthetic qualities of buildings and spaces have a powerful impact. The Architecture Centre works to substantially develop people’s understanding of the built environment through every element of its programme. In the fifteen years since the Architecture Centre first opened its doors, the Centre has expanded both its expertise and its ability to deliver first class programmes dedicated to helping different audiences to a better understanding of architecture and the built environment. Some aspects of our work have been consistent from the beginning – our exhibitions and education programme, for example. Others are growing, such as the work with, and for, communities, or the ‘design action’ programme which pulls together our work with local authorities and professionals.
We are an independent arts organisation with specific knowledge of architecture and design, and an excellent reputation locally and nationally. Our existing programmes, together with our rigorous and self-critical approach to what we do, have attracted increasing numbers of partners and collaborators. We recognise the need to help the public understand what good architecture can offer them and by finding innovative ways of presenting architecture we hope to involve new audiences in our enthusiasm for great buildings and places. Through this we may challenge our own and others’ preconceptions and stimulate demand for excellent architecture.
The Architecture Centre occupies a beautiful 18th century warehouse in the heart of Bristol's historic docks, located between the Arnolfini gallery and the Youth Hostel. Converted in 1996, the Centre comprises an intimate and welcoming ground floor gallery and tenanted office space on the upper floors (currently occupied by 3G Communications and Studio Diva). The Architecture Centre is highly respected as a reliable source of information on all aspects of architecture and the built environment. We extend our impact by producing resources, such as case studies and information sheets, to support many of our activities.
The Architecture Centre exists to foster a greater understanding and enjoyment of architecture and to promote the value of a better built environment. We believe that by increasing public awareness and working with those responsible for development, we will help raise expectations and thereby provide both opportunities and demand for better buildings and places.
Every aspect of the work undertaken by The Architecture Centre aims to: Widen public awareness; develop understanding and appreciation; demonstrate the value of good design; encourage good practice.
The Architecture Centre is the leading regional expert on engaging the public with the built environment and championing the creation of better quality neighbourhoods, buildings and public spaces. Based in Bristol and relating directly to that particular urban environment we respond equally to the needs of the wider South West region.
The Centre’s programme includes exhibitions, events, lectures and critical debate, work with artists, and visits to inspiring buildings. Our learning programme delivers engaging built environment education to children and young people in the South West. We promote the value of good design - empowering communities undergoing change to shape their environment for the better, and working with built environment professionals, local authority officers and councillors to achieve design excellence.