Transformation of Bristol’s Eastville Park Lido
16 April 2019
A group of BSc Architectural Studies students, led by Nudge Group founder and visiting lecturer Shankari Raj, have embarked on a project to rejuvenate a neglected lido in Bristol.
The Eastville Park unit was assembled as part of Vertical Studio, an annual three-week programme for Year 1 and 2 students in the Welsh School of Architecture that encourages students to develop new skills and interests.
Originally built as a lido in Victorian times, the swimming pool was damaged by shrapnel in World War Two and subsequently turned into a community garden in the 1980s. It has since fallen into disrepair.
As a local resident, Shankari has seen the prospect of reviving the old swimming pool talked about many times and saw the potential to get students involved.
During the three-week project, students were challenged to engage with the community and develop three ideas to transform the lido. Students established that the community’s preferred option is to see the Victorian lido restored into an open air swimming pool with café facilities. Other options include a sensory garden and theatre space, or a paddling pool for children.
“The space has a strong heritage and people are using it, but we wanted to add more meaning to the place,” explains student Ian Tsang. “The pool has a lot of potential, so we are looking into that. We want to preserve the existing walls and create a communal space.”
Students will present their proposals to the community in April 2019 and are aiming to apply for funding to see the vision become a reality.
The Eastville Park Vertical Studio unit was featured in independent publication Bristol 24/7.