UNLOCK THE CITY

Opening the doors of Bristol’s best buildings

14-16 September

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NEWS AND HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2018

  • Saturday10AM - 4PM

Experience Bristol’s 19th century Reform Riots with a remake of the world’s first immersive audio-play. Transform your perspective on this tranquil corner as you hear the cavalry charge around you. Download the free app from satsymph.co.uk now then head to Queen Square, the riots' epicentre, to encounter history in a whole new way. The makers of the app, together with UWE, will be at Thunderbolt Square, on the corner of Prince Street & King Street, to meet and talk about the project.

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In a special commission, artist Edson Burton re-creates a seminal moment in the history of Black Britain now lost to licensing laws, extended club hours and the changing population of the inner city. Part installation, part live event, Late Night Blues promises to be an evening to remember.

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  • Sunday10AM - 4PM

Give your child the chance to build a real-life bridge with the Institute of Civil Engineers and Griffiths Civil Engineering. Groups of 8-12 year olds will have an hour to build a 17 metre long replica of the Second Severn Crossing – and even have the chance to test its strength by walking across it!   Lead by professional engineers, the children will be split into two teams and allocated roles. The teams will build the suspension bridge from the outer edges, meeting in the middle. This a great way to explore the creativity of engineering and meet professional engineers.

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  • Saturday2PM - 4PM

How can Bristol become a city that allows children from all backgrounds to thrive? Led by Arup and based on their research about designing for children, this workshop will explore the importance of considering the young as the city rapidly develops. Suitable for all ages.  

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  • Saturday10AM - 4PM

Gain exclusive insight into the workings of an innovative asphalt plant, with tours every half hour. Discover how green technology fuels the manufacturing process and learn how asphalt is made and used. Climb the tower for estuary views and see the remains of a Second World War gun emplacement.

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  • Saturday10AM - 12.30PM
  • Sunday10AM - 4PM

Be among the first to explore Bristol Old Vic’s multi-million-pound redevelopment before it opens fully to the public. Sneak a peek into the brand new, fully accessible foyer with its floor to ceiling glass windows, hear about the design from the Project Team themselves, and glimpse some of what’s been uncovered of the theatre’s 252-year history in specially curated tours.

 

Due to the ongoing site activity, we are no longer able to offer a preview of the nearly completed Studio Theatre or Coopers’ Hall, as mentioned in the Bristol Open Doors brochure.

 

Please note that tours have limited capacity and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

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  • Saturday11AM - 5PM

Get behind the stark and imposing exterior of this Grade II listed building and be surprised by its light and spacious interior. Marvel at the striking angular design, constructed from board marked white concrete. Admire the font, the stained glass and the Stations of the Cross, all of which are are unique works of art.

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  • Friday5PM
  • Saturday10AM - 3PM
  • Sunday10AM - 3PM

Look differently at an area you thought you knew in this walk with civil engineers Ramboll. Find out how engineering projects have shaped Bristol's historic centre and imagine how the built environment might be altered again in the future. Also join hands-on engineering activities at their Queen Square office, running 10am-4pm, Sat & Sun.

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  • Sunday10AM - 4PM

See how a new citizen-led approach to development can work at TAM, an innovative low-carbon, prefabricated timber and straw home. The organisation behind the project, We Can Make, is re-imagining legal, financial and policy frameworks so that real people can become the developers of their own affordable homes.   We Can Make presents an inspiring vision at a time in which the city is in desperate need of new, low cost housing. Visit this venue for an alternative perspective what on urban house-building might look like.

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This event has been cancelled. 

We have been informed by the venue contact that the building is no longer in a good condition following the theft of the roof. As a result the leaders of the tour have cancelled the building opening for health and safety concerns. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment caused.

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Your keys to the festival, get the programme delivered to your door, while also helping to support the charity behind Bristol Open Doors.

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