• Client University of South Wales

  • Type Education

  • Location Pontypridd

This dynamic social hub provides a distinct break from academia whilst reflecting the expectations of the 21st-century student. The previous Union had ‘run its course’ and no longer satisfied the requirements of a contemporary University.

The resultant RIBA-award-winning scheme involved the demolition and replacement of the existing Union with a contemporary 20,000ftfacility. The concept involved the integration of social, administrative and learning accommodation in the building, raising its profile within the campus and harnessing the panoramic views across the valley.

It was important that the building was inclusive to all and gave students a sense of ownership; hence its external appearance expresses its function, offering transparency and engagement with its environment. Internally, the communal functions such as social learning, cafés and bars form the ‘heart’ of the building, reinforcing this ethos.