Award-winning new building for the University of Wales
The new city campus for the schools of Art, Media, Design, Business and Technology complements the university's vision for a new learning quarter to revitalise the waterfront and regenerate the city and its region. The entrance is from the new piazza beside the dramatic masts of the pedestrian bridge. A ‘meet and greet' desk is situated within the foyer to act as a welcome point. A cascading stair leads up to the ‘learning resource' terraces which form a stepped plateau above the suite of lecture theatres and technical teaching space at ground level. Access to a suite of lecture rooms is via a glazed exhibition space running along the west side of the building parallel to and looking over the new tree-lined Usk way, where a small café and seating are also located.
The main performing arts studio also opens out onto a new ‘public' space which can be used for external theatre performances on the waterfront. These areas house Film / Performing Arts and AV / digital studios; CSM sound recording studios and rehearsal spaces. By setting the library or ‘learning resource' zone, café/restaurant and some seminar spaces on top of the podium, users enjoy panoramic views along the river. At the heart of the new building floats the academic and researchers ‘Hot House' island. This innovative space is for interdisciplinary collaboration between academics, researchers and students, with the aim of creating new commercial ideas to help drive entrepreneurship and creativity in the regeneration of the city.
The project was successfully completed within time and budget, delivering 12,500-sq-m of state-of-the-art accommodation and successfully achieving a BREEAM Excellent rating. The outurn construction cost was £25,272,916 and the contract completion was achieved 2 weeks ahead of the agreed 23 month build programme and occupied in January 2011. The project won a Mixology Award for Best Public Sector Project and an RIBA Award for Architecture in 2011.