• Client Watkin Jones Group

  • Type Student Accommodation

  • Location Cardiff

Planning approval for this project was achieved in 2016 with full officer and committee support. When completed, it will be the tallest structure in Wales, representing a significant feature in Cardiff’s skyline and the start of a new generation of high-quality tall buildings in the Welsh capital.

The 500m² site has remained vacant for over 30 years owing to the challenges of developing such a small site with difficult boundary conditions (railway line and main city centre roads) and constraints from below-ground services (main gas, electrical, data and sewer easements). A number of technical design issues were overcome to ensure proposals were feasible and robust.

The floor layouts, as well as structural and M&E solutions, have been developed to maximise spatial efficiency, which was a fundamental requirement of the client.

Since scaffolding at this site and height would be unachievable, the envelope has been designed as a unitised cladding system, with each panel co-ordinated to combine the glazing, concrete and copper finishing materials. This creates the random pattern which is a key feature of the building aesthetic.

Height, scale and mass have been carefully considered in the sculpting of the building’s form. In line with SPG and design guidance for tall buildings, the emphasis has been on creating slenderness and well-mannered proportions balanced with internal space efficiency and usability.