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Tall Buildings

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Rhodri

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Re: Tall Buildings

PostWed May 24, 2017 8:37 am

I do like that design. It will add to Newport Rd well, with the City Rd developments & existing buildings I think a decent mass is developing.
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RandomComment

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Re: Tall Buildings

PostWed May 24, 2017 9:58 am

Peiriannydd wrote:Some further information regarding the Newport Road scheme:

I wonder where the funding will come for this scheme and whether or not Howells are planning a new-build for new premises or just taking space in somewhere like Central Square.



With 90 staff I very much doubt they'll commission their own building. I imagine they'll take a floor in somewhere like 1 Canal Parade or 3 Capital Quarter.
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Karl

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Re: Tall Buildings

PostWed May 24, 2017 10:37 am

It's definately growing on me. Some of the renders look real quality - others not so much. There was an app for the refurbishment of Eastgate House a few months ago which looked good quality. I wonder if that will go ahead as well. I'm not sure if the eclectisism of that stretch of Newport Rd is good or bad. Will the wildly different styles meld together to make a coherent and pleasing whole or will it just look like an unholy mess? It will be interesting to see what the student resi currently under construction at Fitzalan House will look like when fully unveiled. The renders were awful, but what I've seen so far looks more restrained.

I'm really quite nervous about tall buildings in Cardiff. Recent history has not been great. I can't think of a tall building built in the last 20 years that has stood the test of time. Altolusso has an interesting shape but a terrible finish. Landmark Place has nice art deco flourishes coupled with a monolithic, small windowed block of ripply render. The Aspect is now bits of grey render attached to mold. Celestia is a decent tower that really doesnt do it's location justice. All in my opinion of course.

I'm even more nervous that the majority of the tall building proposals are student resi. Regardless of the bollocks spouted by architects in the glossy DAS's the proof is in the pudding. Ty Pont Haearn - gash. Windsor House - some parts decent but ruined by porta cabins on the roof. Every single Liberty Living building - dire. Talybont Court - ghastly. The extension on top of Shand House - criminal. Student Castle - makes the utilitarian fire station next door look like the a Georgian country house.

All developers talk a good game and all of them want to maximise every single penny. I'm not really feeling the universal love for the Charles Street tower currently going up and Glendower House in the NCP car park behind Queen Street is the very definition of mediocre. All this is my opinion of course but I'm doubtful that the proposed towers will be anywhere near as good as we think they will be and whereas a smaller building is easier to demolish or re-furb a very large tower could be a blight for decades to come.

As this thread is about tall buildings in general rather than a tall building in particular what towers in Cardiff are any good? The one that I've come to appreciate recently is Southgate House in Wood Street. It must be 30-40 years old but clearly the materials are decent and although it's quite short and stubby I think it looks quite elegant. I'd like to see some more activity on the ground floor but for a building that I used to loathe it's really grown on me.
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Cardiff

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Re: Tall Buildings

PostWed May 24, 2017 10:59 am

Radisson Blue is a decent tall building, good proportions though they have had some issues with the exterior. The tallest part of Victoria Wharf is quite pleasing, though i note no one critasises it as much as Celestia for having no ground interaction. The two largest towers of Celestia are quite nice despite the render being in the middle of a legal battle. Prospect places tallest tower is decent from the water side, as is Isis 3d by century wharf. BT tower has distinction with the spire but the render and lack of windows is pretty poor. Premier Inn/British gas building has the best exterior but is very stumpy.
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Jantra

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Re: Tall Buildings

PostWed May 24, 2017 11:02 am

Radisson is a decent build, i quite like it. IIRC correctly it was built by JR Smart, who built the apartment block next to it as well so apropos of Capital quarter and John Street hope springs eternal

I do share your comments about that god awful render that has blighted many a build in our city. I do however think planners and architects have realised just how shite it looks after a few years of weathering. ditto the wood we see on the likes of Victoria Wharf

Prospect Place looks good in places, and the tower there is of a decent quality
I'd rather be no one than someone with no one.
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Karl

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Re: Tall Buildings

PostWed May 24, 2017 11:22 am

I went past the tower at Prospect Place the other day and that, for me, was the worst part of the development. I'm not being a contrary bastard for the sake of it btw. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I wish they would have built it as a taller version of the smaller 'bookcase' blocks which - at least from the Barrage - look very distinctive.

On the other hand - again on my bike - I went past Victoria Wharf. I hadn't been up close to them before and had always talked snottily about them being a terrible place to live as I drove past on the bridge. Up close they actually look decent quality although the pastel render has made them date quite quickly I think.

I haven't been past the Isis tower on the river on my bike or otherwise. I've only glimpsed it from afar so can't really comment other than to say my reaction to it has been 'meh'.

Radisson I agree - it is very elegant.

I like the Premier Inn (Helmont House) building in Churchill Way. But that was built in 1984 - 33 years ago. Which sort of brings me round to my original point. Perhaps its because they are more familiar or psychologically I/we just like older buildings more than new ones but do any of the newer talls match in terms of quality or visual interest the likes of Capital Tower, Brunel House, Holland House, Helmont House, Southgate House or even the University Tower?
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Baysailor

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Re: Tall Buildings

PostWed May 24, 2017 1:21 pm

When you look at the high rise condominium apartments of glass and steel in North America, they are truly aspirational living. Have also seen recent equivalents in the Netherlands and other EU countries. The problem with us in the UK is that we still have the council flat stigma from years ago that high rise living is associated with. Until our culture can come to grips with the fact that many people prefer the lifestyle of upscale apartment living over traditional terraces we will continue producing mediocre buildings. Prospect Place was a good step forward. Hopefully Bayscape will continue this trend.
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jonbvn

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Re: Tall Buildings

PostThu May 25, 2017 5:12 am

Baysailor wrote:When you look at the high rise condominium apartments of glass and steel in North America, they are truly aspirational living. Have also seen recent equivalents in the Netherlands and other EU countries. The problem with us in the UK is that we still have the council flat stigma from years ago that high rise living is associated with. Until our culture can come to grips with the fact that many people prefer the lifestyle of upscale apartment living over traditional terraces we will continue producing mediocre buildings. Prospect Place was a good step forward. Hopefully Bayscape will continue this trend.


In the UK, very few people aspire to live in an apartment, however plush and "executive" it may be. Simple fact is that most people in the UK far prefer living in a house, my family included.
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Baysailor

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Re: Tall Buildings

PostThu May 25, 2017 9:15 am

Agreed. That’s my point. Tall buildings are associated with an urban culture. I suggest that anyone in South Wales paying £300k and upwards for a leasehold apartment can afford to buy a house instead. They just don’t want to. If we want well designed tall residential buildings, recognise the people purchasing them do so by choice and not because they can’t afford a traditional house. So give this market segment the style they are willing to pay for.

Simon_200 has talked about Vancouver in the past. When I was there I was astonished at the numerous waterfront residential buildings. 30 – 40 stories high with distinctive architecture and premium looking finishes. I’m not suggesting Cardiff will, or even should, achieve the same. But there’s no excuse to comprise with the mediocrity we seem to accept.
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Mr Blue Sky

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Re: Tall Buildings

PostThu May 25, 2017 10:32 am

Having lived in flats for 30 years I believe that people choose them primarily because of their location i.e. either the neighbourhood that the flat is in or its proximity to their place of work. Flats are very rarely pricier per square foot than houses situated in the same neighbourhood.

An exception to this rule is that new build "luxury apartments" are sometimes initially more expensive, when first released on to the market, than existing 19th Century terraces or 20th Century ex council houses in the same neighbourhood, but this differential is usually quickly eroded.

I've always lived in decent neighbourhoods but have had to choose a flat as I couldn't afford a house. I have enough capital to buy a house but I don't want to move to a shittier neighbourhood. I could live in luxury if I moved to the valleys but in Penarth it is a flat for me or nothing.

The problem with flats is noise. You can easily have 8 neighbouring flats in a large block and if one of those neighbours is noisy then everyone will suffer. The building regulations on anything constructed before 1990 were not stringent enough to prevent noise pollution being a big problem. Flats need to be built to the highest standards to prevent this type of nuisance and somehow I doubt that this is happening in the UK.
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