Bristol commercial design and build company Utopia is giving students the chance to design real-life fit-outs for St Catherine’s Court, Clifton’s only BREEAM ‘excellent’ environmentally rated building.

Utopia is holding a competition with students at the University of Glamorgan, which runs one of the country’s most acclaimed interior design courses. 26 designers have been asked to draw up plans for an office for 50 staff, utilising the remaining space at St Catherine’s Court, as two floors have already been let to GVA Grimley.

The top five designs will be displayed in the new building to help prospective tenants visualise how the space can be used. They may then choose to complete their fit-out using the students’ designs, or elements of them.

The creator of the best design will win a year’s paid placement with Utopia and four runners up will be offered work experience with the company.

Kevin Mashford, managing director of Utopia, says:
“St Catherine’s Court is the first new office building in Clifton for 20 years, and a tantalising blank canvas for creating a modern, stylish yet practical and comfortable work environment”.

Last year’s winner Luke Gillard is now a full-time employee at Utopia, this is the second year that they have run the competition and after great success last year it is now part of the course syllabus.

James Digby Director, Ashfield Land says:

“We are excited to be able to offer this opportunity to the students at the University of Glamorgan. St Catherine’s Court is a landmark building for Clifton and we feel that the innovative and creative flair brought out in the competition will naturally complement and enhance its uniqueness. We cannot wait to see the designs and also feel that it is important in the current economic climate to be supporting talented graduates joining the world of work from higher education.”