Crane arrives

When your tower crane arrives, the opportunity to have some fun with some before and after images presents itself. One Portwall Square pre-crane and post-crane (with some demolition, site clearance and groundworks also completed for good measure).

One Portwall Square Construction Starts on Site

Construction of our new office, One Portwall Square, began yesterday. And whilst we couldn’t celebrate with the full team, it was great to be able to mark the occasion, at a safe distance, with Skanska.

Building work now begins in earnest and we look forward to seeing our exemplar commercial scheme and new pocket square progress.

Skanska appointed as Main Contractor on One Portwall Square

We are pleased to announce that we’ve appointed Skanska UK as our main contractor on our new office building One Portwall Square in the heart of Bristol’s commercial district. Combining contemporary architecture with a focus on tenant amenity, wellbeing and sustainability, One Portwall Square will deliver a new model office for Bristol.

Work starts on site next month for completion end of 2021. The development will have opening windows throughout the building which will work with a passive in-slab cooling system and super high ceilings to create the best work environment for occupiers – comfort cooled workspaces with quality daylight, fresh air and outdoor space. It is also committed to outstanding sustainability, energy efficiency and connectivity and will be built to BREEAM Excellent and EPC Rating A standards. One Portwall Square has achieved WiredScore Certification Platinum and CyclingScore Certification Platinum in recognition of its exceptional connectivity and cycling provision. It is also connecting into Bristol City Council’s District Heat Network providing a more sustainable way of heating that offers cost efficiencies and a greener energy source

Bristol is a vibrant, creative and innovative city and our office responds to it with workspaces for a modern generation of tenants who are looking for a stylish, healthy, sustainable and connected place to work.

Cycling Score Platinum certificate for One Portwall Square

We’ve championed bike power for a while and knew that our first development in Bristol would have exceptional cycling facilities at its core. So it is very exciting to receive our official platinum accreditation from the team at CyclingScore.

As well as plenty of secure cycle parking for tenants and visitors, we’ve thought a lot about the needs of cyclists and are creating excellent shower and changing rooms and lots of locker spaces and storage. All designed to encourage a greener and healthier way to get to and from our building.

Bristol has led the way as a cycling city. And One Portwall Square now provides it with an office that gives cyclists the amenities they need. One of the many features that make it a new office for Bristol.

One Portwall Square is Wired Certified Platinum

The Nord team are feeling justifiably proud as it’s been confirmed by WiredScore that One Portwall Square is officially Wired Certified Platinum. We are one of only two buildings in Bristol to achieve this top accreditation confirming that our new build office will be one of the best in the country for broadband and telecom infrastructure and digital connectivity.

We’ve always aimed to create a genuinely new office for Bristol. This is an important step for us in demonstrating that we are delivering a commercial workplace that sets the bar for office accommodation.  And it’s just the beginning.

One Portwall Square Begins On Site

We were delighted to mark the official start on site of our new build commercial office, One Portwall Square, with a small celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony.  Amidst much applause, we handed the site over to the demolition team who will now begin taking down the redundant squash court that has stood empty for many years, making way for our new type of office for Bristol.

It was great to have so many of our dedicated design and project team with us to mark the event as we begin the next stage of this exciting project.


As detailed design progresses on our Bristol new build office, we admire the craft and value of the architectural model-maker. The use of models to support our thinking and decision making process is invaluable and a useful reminder that whilst technology advances and enables, there are still occasions when real form and physical matter can not be bettered. Plus it is a joy to take apart and put back together!

The Backhouse Journey

We’ve been proud to support and advise Backhouse since its earliest days and have always shared its vision that UK new homes can and should be better than the current market standard. Over two years have passed since we first became involved and Backhouse’s journey has been a terrific one to share.

From the initial concept site in Castle Cary, the housebuilder now has five sites across SW England representing over 250 units. Each of these new neighbourhoods is thoughtfully designed by top architectural teams from practices including AHMM and Clifton Emery and the expertise, care and creativity in the design of the houses themselves and the communal areas and public spaces have created developments that are interesting, uplifting and innovative.

And we are not the only ones admiring the generous layouts and focus on light and space.  Both The Housing Design Awards 2019 and Property Week’s Resi Awards 2019 have shortlisted Backhouse in recognition of its use of good design to drive quality in the residential sector. New Homes have never looked so good.

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New Designers and the BCC

Once again we were excited to visit the New Designers exhibition at the Business Design Centre and see the furniture created by the very talented students from the Building Crafts College. Working with a range of materials and deploying skill and craftmanship of the highest standard, the impressive exhibits were a culmination of two years of intensive study and demonstrated the important role this specialist college plays in training and developing the range of construction, conservation and building craft skills on offer.

Congratulations to all students and well done to those who were given a John Lewis and award of recognition.

Carving at Clerkenwell Close

We are proud supporters of The Building Crafts College and the work they do teaching, training, guiding and empowering students and apprentices to develop skills within the building trades.  From carpentry and joinery to stonemasonry and furniture making, these crafts make a huge difference to construction projects and our built environment and provide lasting benefit. We have launched a carving project for students in conjunction with Amin Taha to enable them to develop and showcase their masonry skills at Amin’s Clerkenwell Close studio.  Although just a few weeks in, the results are already impressive and we look forward to seeing the pieces evolve in the coming months.