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Central Square

if it's about Cardiff.. Sport, Entertainment, Transportation, Business, Development Projects, Leisure, Eating, Drinking, Nightlife, Shopping, Train Spotting! etc.. then we want it here!
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Cen

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Re: Central Square

PostTue May 09, 2017 12:57 pm

The tower was moved to the adjacent plot surrounding Media Wales, if I remember correctly. I think we discussed it in this thread. It would be a good height if they wanted to fit 180,000 sq ft on that plot.
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RandomComment

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Re: Central Square

PostTue May 09, 2017 1:37 pm

Not sure if people noticed this, but hidden in the WalesOnline article was a link to the website for the development:

http://www.woodstreetcardiff.uk/

There are plans, a DAS, etc. Worth having a proper look at. My initial thoughts though are that the building design has elements in common with both the Admiral HQ and the proposed residential block for the interchange. As such material quality will be especially important: it could look a bit bland and blocky if quality is low, but could look pretty smart if the glazing and facing material is high quality.
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RandomComment

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Re: Central Square

PostTue May 09, 2017 1:46 pm

One strange thing though is that the description includes ground floor retail and cafe uses, but the plans:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-k1lX ... h3VEE/view

seem to show it as use for offices, meeting rooms, function rooms, etc. I think the ground floor uses are not really fixed and they are seeking permission for multiple uses for them. But it seems that HMRC seem to want to use them themselves.
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AlwaysBeBlue

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Re: Central Square

PostTue May 09, 2017 1:46 pm

Karl wrote:I like it. As long as the materials are top notch I think it will look good and the square opening up views to the law courts will be a great addition to the city centre.

I'm not quite sure what it is people want or expect with the buildings here. Lets remember that this is a building for a public sector branch office not the worldwide HQ for a leading bank or global corporation. Lets also remember that this is Cardiff and although we are a capital city we are about the 10th biggest city in the UK and in European terms insignificant. We also need to remind ourselves that in economic terms we are also small fry and bobbing around in the mid reaches of the UK economic tables and we sit in the midst of the most economically 'challenged' area in the UK.

I think we need to get real. Is this building and the whole central square development significantly better than what was there before. That must be a resounding yes even with the slightly disappointing redesign of the bus station. Will the buildings, individually, wow and impress visitors? Unlikley - but who wants a bunch of buildings jostling for attention? Will the sum of the whole Central Square development be greater than the sum of it's parts - I think it probably will.

I also think that what Cardiff needs is a period of developing its urban grain and actually looking like a city rather than individual statement buildings that look nice in isolation but make for a disjointed streetscape. A 12 storey building is unlikley to get the groin tingling but in conjunction with everything else being built I think ultimately it will add to the city in a more p
ositive way than a statement tower.


For a City that is irrelevant, we are not doing too bad. We have one of the biggest sporting events in the world coming up.
I also think tall buildings give an international feel. Cities that want to go places should punch above their weight, because these are the magnificent cities of the future.

Don't think small because of what you think you are... think big for what you may become
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Cen

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Re: Central Square

PostTue May 09, 2017 6:06 pm

Agree with above. It doesn't matter how "big" Cardiff is. Mexico City is huge, but irrelevant on the world stage. Cardiff punches well above its weight with regard to status and global awareness, which has only really been seen recently.

For example, what do similarly sized cities like Nottingham and Sheffield actually have going for them on the global stage? Not much at all. That's normal for cities of their size. I'd say it's a great sign that Cardiff is in the public eye far more than you'd expect (gone are the days of "Where's that?"), and it can only be a catalyst for more growth - starting with Central Square!

Jantra

Re: Central Square

PostTue May 09, 2017 6:12 pm

I've never heard of Robin Hood or the crucible
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Cen

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Re: Central Square

PostTue May 09, 2017 6:23 pm

Jantra wrote:I've never heard of Robin Hood or the crucible

I was thinking a little bigger than that :lol:
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Peiriannydd

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Re: Central Square

PostTue May 09, 2017 9:52 pm

AlwaysBeBlue wrote:I also think that what Cardiff needs is a period of developing its urban grain and actually looking like a city rather than individual statement buildings that look nice in isolation but make for a disjointed streetscape. A 12 storey building is unlikley to get the groin tingling but in conjunction with everything else being built I think ultimately it will add to the city in a more positive way than a statement tower.


For a City that is irrelevant, we are not doing too bad. We have one of the biggest sporting events in the world coming up.
I also think tall buildings give an international feel. Cities that want to go places should punch above their weight, because these are the magnificent cities of the future.

Don't think small because of what you think you are... think big for what you may become[/quote]

And why do we have the Champions League final in Cardiff? Because the WRU thought big and made sure that they built a world-class stadium that the rest of the rugby and football world would come to envy.

That said, I think Cardiff needs a variety of development types because we need to attract a variety of businesses as we try to ourselves from the bottom of the UK's economic pit.

I also hold the view the buildings, especially modern ones, can be refurbished or replaced over time. It wouldn’t be a huge challenge to replace the cladding on Capital Quarter in say 15 years time to something more high-spec as Cardiff lifts its profile. Every vibrant city that I’ve worked in is continually evolving, with building and entire city zones changing hands, changing in use/application etc. These new developments are part of Cardiff’s journey in becoming a modern capital city. Regeneration is a constant process. Let's not forget, Marland House was the future once, now it's either landfill or crush aggregate for a highways scheme! St David's House is soon to follow.

The key is to provide as many reasons for people and businesses to come to Cardiff. Then the challenge is to ensure that standards and expectations are raised without pricing people away.
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San Portablo

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Re: Central Square

PostWed May 10, 2017 8:49 am

Both Nottingham and Sheffield have modern Tramways
The Nottingham Express Transit
Sheffield Supertram

Other Cities like Newcastle have the Tyne and Wear metro, Manchester has the MetroLink, Birmingham Wolverhampton has the Midland Metro
Compare this to Cardiff Wales
In the whole of the East Cardiff in 2017 there is not a single train station
There is not a single mile of Modern tramway in Cardiff or Indeed Wales in 2017...
Neither is there a single mile of electrified line in Wales in 2017....

The Budget for infrustructure is set by Westminster
They have neglected Wales for decades - Welsh Labour has done nothing to change it..
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Karl

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Re: Central Square

PostWed May 10, 2017 8:55 am

I think its easy to think big with someone else's money. I think on balance I would prefer buildings being built than really big idea's remaining on paper.

My point was that I think we need a bit of a reality check in relation to what is being built in Central Square. I think its really rather good and stands up to the best of whats being built in the rest of the UK outside of London. Think of other office schemes that have been built in Cardiff in the last 30 years - Callaghan Square, Cardiff Gate, Capital Waterside. Central Square, on the basis of what we have seen so far, is significantly better than all of them.

Thats why I'm struggling to understand the disappointment or the idea that Rightacres should be building statement towers. When was the last tall office building developed in Cardiff? Probably Capitol Tower almost 50 years ago. There is a reason for that - the sums don't add up. Even Admiral, THE flagship Cardiff company and Wales' most successful, decided on a modest height because it fitted their opertaional requirements and because it was affordable. If they are not going to do it then Rightacres are not going to empty their wallets to build a tower for a public sector branch office particularly as its likely that HMRC will have been constrained in the amount they are prepared to pay per square meter. Of course Rightacres could have speculatively built a tower and hoped for occupiers to be enticed by the beauty of the building but given the market they would have been nuts to do so. It would also have probably meant that the rest of the development would have ground to a halt whilst they attempted to find tenants willing to pay record rents for the Cardiff market.

And the point about Cardiff's relative economic success holds. We won't get 30 storey statement towers built for office accommodation because we won't attract the rents that make them economically viable. Outside of London and maybe Manchester thats the same for the rest of the UK. Thinking that we should have them because we are a capital or because we have the Champions League Final just doesn't really make sense.

In terms of the WRU thinking big with the Millenium Stadium, they were able to think big with Lottery money. Had it been their own I suspect they would have thought very small. Witness the wretched state of the Westgate St entrance to the stadium that has remained unaltered for the last 18 years.

For the record I think Cardiff as a small city does really well. I think we are on something of an upward curve and when compared to similar population centres in the UK we have a higher profile. But I think we need to be realistic in terms of what we can expect in terms of development.
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