• Copyright. Buro Happold
  • Copyright. Buro Happold
  • Copyright. Buro Happold
  • Copyright. Buro Happold

General information

  • Home page
  • Location address
    WILDSCREEN Anchor Road Bristol BS1 5TT
  • Location country
    United Kingdom
  • Year of construction
  • Name of the client/building owner
    @ Bristol
  • Function of building
    Theatres & cinemas
  • Degree of enclosure
    Fully enclosed structure
  • Climatic zone
    Temperate - cold winters and mild summers
  • Primary function of the tensile structure
    • Daylight gains
    • Rain protection
    • Space defining elements


This exciting waterside development formed part of the programme to develop the run down dockside area of Bristol into a new and vibrant leisure attraction. The inclusion of old goods sheds, warehouses and a 19th Century Leadworks is integral to the development. There are three main attractions at @ Bristol, the Explore @ Bristol, the IMAX @ Bristol and the Wildscreen @Bristol.

Buro Happold engineers worked on the Wildscreen building which includes moving images of nature, exhibition galleries and a tropical botanical house made of glass where the exhibition is visible from the street. New and innovative engineering solutions have been married with older style structures beautifully, as can be seen in the entrance to the complex. It is made up of interesting curving walls and covered with a fabric canopy which gives the area an outdoor, spacious feel with all the qualities of indoor protection.

The botanical house roof structure consists of an 1000m2 ETFE foil cushions supported off straight cables suspended from 2 no. 25m long masts and steel perimeter gutter. The entrace and foyer area of the building has a PVC roof covering approximately 600m2. Small canopies on the roof level of the main building will provide shading for the visitors.

Description of the environmental conditions

The clear synthetic material which covers the botanical house is Hostaflon or Ethyltetrafluroethylene (ETFE). The ETFE roof offers conditions similar to a green house. Two layers of 0.1mm plastic inflated like bubble wrap act as efficient insulation. This marvellous modern material is self-cleaning (it is so smooth that dirt cannot stick to it), it vaporises immediately in a fire and does not age or brittle.
The PVC covered entrance gives a semi-open environment. The canopies on the fifth floor is open air and will provide shading and shelter only.

Material of the cover

Main dimensions and form

Duration of use

  • Temporary or permanent structure

Involved companies