Public art at Temple Quarter

View of the future Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus from the water


Due to open in 2026, the University’s new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus (TQEC) will be a thriving ecosystem where students, academics, researchers, businesses, civic partners and the local community can work together. It will expand our collective potential for mutual learning and knowledge exchange, by providing a collaborative space with exceptional facilities for research, innovation, and education.

There will be 3 public art commissions relating to TQEC – Charting Change, Wild Spaces and the Public Realm Commission

The campus will provide inclusive, flexible and innovative facilities for teaching and learning. Many spaces in the main academic building have been designed in consultation with the community and will be accessible by the public. A new Eastern Entrance at Bristol Temple Meads Station will open directly onto the campus, improving connectivity to the city.

TQEC is integral to the transformation of the wider Temple Quarter area, and by working with our partners including the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), Bristol City Council, Network Rail and Homes England, we’re helping to create a new and inclusive city district and contribute to economic growth and job creation.

Public art programming

Public art programming is taking place at all stages of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus development. Art commissions present unique opportunities to creatively explore the University’s place in the city and the global challenges that the University’s research addresses.

In 2017 the University worked with Field Art Projects, who produced the Public Art Statement for the planning application for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus. Current programming is being delivered with the Contemporary Art Society and guided by a Public Art Advisory Panel, with advisors from across the cultural sector in Bristol, as well as the University’s Heritage and Public Art Committee. The principles that guide the direction of commissions are: Valuing Excellence; Promoting Collaboration; Best Practice Delivery; Integration with Design.

In 2018-19 two artist residencies opened up creative conversations around the TQEC development locally, at an early stage when the demolition of the Royal Mail building and early site clearance was taking place.

Since 2020 the Barton Hill Micro-Campus has been open and delivering creative engagement projects and community-engaged research, often in collaboration with partner organisation the Wellspring Settlement. This includes the Little Library: a welcoming weekly multi-lingual library service, which has been co-developed with local residents.

Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus is critical to the University of Bristol’s future global reputation, and our capacity to drive forward our areas of excellence. The unprecedented support shown by a wide range of partners and philanthropists, has enabled us to be more ambitious than we had previously dared hope.

Professor Evelyn Welch

Vice-chancellor and President of the University of Bristol

Royal mail stamp booklet design labelled: "Isn't that just lush?!" A little Bristolian accent! I think. Here we belong.
Dog with camera on his back, at the site of the new University campus
Injurious Effect, Ellie Shipman 2022
Injurious Effect

In 2022 a public art commission led to a new artwork embracing the industrial and societal history of the new home for the Bristol Digital Futures Institute, the first research hub in TQEC to become operational. Local artist Ellie Shipman worked with local residents and academics to gather accounts of the gas works in Avon Street, to create Injurious Effect, an audio work and sculpture.

September 2023 saw the opening of the new Bristol Dental School, which features public artworks with strong appeal for the families who visit, including: bespoke characters The Denticles, created by Gav Strange, Director & Designer at Aardman, the Academy Award®-winning animation studio based in Bristol; and two murals by local artist Bex Glover feature the characters as well as landmarks from across the city.

As the TQEC programme progresses towards 2026, three major new public art commissions will be delivered with the Contemporary Art Society to spark curiosity and imagination and help create a place where people feel welcomed. These public art commissions will have a strong focus on city-wide engagement, discussion and dialogue. As such they will be a vivid, creative expression of the ethos and character of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus as a place for city-wide partnerships to flourish.

Read more about our plans for Public art at Temple Quarter.

The new campus will connect local people, social enterprises, businesses, academics and students to each other and to a range of future opportunities. It will attract more investment to the city, strengthen our global reputation and create a welcoming and inclusive new part of the thriving Temple Quarter area.

Marvin Rees

Mayor of Bristol