The Architecture Centre opens the doors of Bristol


Arts & Culture

Digital Placemaking

The App

In early 2014, Bristol’s Architecture Centre approached Calvium with the idea to create an app that would compliment their new ‘Bristol Opening Doors’ website, giving people an insider’s view of Bristol’s most interesting architecture.

To kick-start the project, the Architecture Centre attended one of our day-long workshops to generate ideas around how the app might work. During the workshop, we discussed the possibilities and fleshed out a range of ideas to figure out exactly what type of app we would be developing, as well as advising them on ways that apps can be promoted to the right audience.


Built using Calvium’s AppTrails, the final app takes 11 of the 41 buildings from the Bristol Opening Doors website. The buildings included in the app are some of Bristol’s most iconic, architecturally, such as the Bristol Old Vic, Wills Memorial Building and St. Nicholas Market Exchange.

It gives users the chance to look past the exteriors, revealing photos of the intricate details and peculiar histories behind the closed doors.

With the app in hand, you can walk around central Bristol and see photographs of the scenes behind the doors as you arrive. you can infuse your city centre walks with the history and charm of the buildings that usually go passed without a second thought.

You’re also introduced to the character of the buildings, through stories from architects, historians and the people who use the buildings today.

Throughout the project, the Architecture Centre team had opportunities to test the developing app on their own phones, giving them the chance to see how it felt to use the app in the streets their audience would be walking. They could hear the stories in the way that their users would, which helped them get a much stronger idea of how the app could be improved whilst it was still being developed.

To find out more about our workshops, and how we work collaboratively with your organisation, get in touch with us.

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