Suzanne Heath - Hotel Gotham
Bristol Guildhall, Broad St entrance
Suzanne Heath - Hotel Gotham
Artist Jahday Ford, image courtesy of the artist

Hotel Gotham
Bristol Guildhall

The historic grade II* listed former Bristol Guildhall buildings (built 1843-46) in the heart of the historic medieval city centre of Bristol are being transformed into a bespoke 5 star luxury hotel with 75 bedrooms, a spa, rooftop terrace bar, cocktail bar and restaurant.

The developers are commissioning artists to create site specific new work for the hotel, including a light-based work by glass artist Jahday Ford for the three storey clocktower that will form the main pedestrian entrance from Broad Street. The artist commissions are funded by the developer as part of the fulfilment of their planning obligations for the development.

The site has a long history dating back to the Middle Ages (suspected from c.1235, but certainly from 1348). It was built as a Guild of Merchants, and remnants of a 16th century wall and windows from the time of Henry VIII survive and were incorporated into the 19th century Victorian Gothic Revival buildings. The Guildhall was used as an assizes courthouse (where the most serious crimes were tried) from the 1860s right up until 1993. After the Second World War the building suffered bomb damage and much of the interior was remodelled, although many decorative Neo Gothic 19th century details remain including figurative stone sculptures and stained glass windows. Closed since 2010, there have been proposals to convert the Guildhall into a hotel since 2013. Building work on Hotel Gotham commenced in January 2023, with the hotel due to open in Spring 2025.

The public art strategy for the hotel is built around the principles of high quality, craftsmanship and innovation. Where possible the new works will illuminate the historic qualities of the listed building, be impactful, support way finding and be inspired by elements of the building and its history. The artworks should enrich the building, in line with the Neo Gothic approach of the 19th century Guildhall.

About the artist
Glass artist Jahday Ford (b.1994) has been appointed through a competitive process to design and make a light-based artwork for the 3-storey Clocktower interior that will form the main pedestrian entrance to the hotel from Broad Street.

Jahday Ford is a glass artist, designer, curator, dj and musician from Bermuda, currently based in Manchester, UK. After moving to the UK in 2011, he went on to graduate with a BA in Three Dimensional Design from Manchester School of Art in 2017. As an artist Jahday works primarily in blown glass, specialising in hot glass fabrication and mould design made using 3D modelling software. Using a combination of glass blowing and digitally programmed forms, through his work Jahday explores ways of drastically changing the materiality of his objects, effectively bonding two diverse processes.

In May 2024 Jahday will present new work at the Glass Art Society’s International Glass Conference in Berlin. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and his work has previously been shown at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York, The National Centre for Craft & Design in Lincolnshire, New Designers and Design Junction in London, Manchester Craft and Design Centre, COLLECT art fair at Somerset House and the International Glass Biennale 2022. His works Biome and Axle toured to Aberdeen Art Gallery, Newlyn Art Gallery in Cornwall and Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2022.

His collection Breathe, a collaboration with digital programmer Joseph Hillary, combined the techniques of digital rendering with wood moulding. The work visually translates a recording of the sound of blowing into the iron while making glassware.

To find out more about the artist’s work follow Jahday Ford on Instagram @jahdayfordesign


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Jahday Ford


Feilden Clegg Bradley


Paton Developments working on behalf of Hotel Gotham




Hotel Gotham Bristol