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Cardiff University, Maindy Road developments

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Re: Cardiff University, Maindy Road developments

PostThu Nov 17, 2016 10:24 pm

Sounds great but I don't think 3% is as safe as it would have seemed a few years ago! Curiously if Cardiff has 30,000 students paying £10k a year that would be £300m. Don't know what their annual income is every year when you include endowments, research etc.


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Re: Cardiff University, Maindy Road developments

PostMon Dec 19, 2016 3:10 pm

Looks like they're cracking on with this one. Kier have been appointed preferred bidder and Cardiff Uni would like to start early 2017. ... -contract/
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Re: Cardiff University, Maindy Road developments

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 10:13 am

Looks like the new student union building is starting, at least the enabling work is.


Re: Cardiff University, Maindy Road developments

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 10:53 am

Good. Cardiff is a city on the up and whilst this development is not everyone's cup of tea, It's important our uni retains and develops excellent facilities for both academic and pastoral activities.


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Re: Cardiff University, Maindy Road developments

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 11:25 am

I think this looks quite nice, my only issue with the design the is the blank north facade. The Victorian building being demolished isn't of particular note or in keeping with the rest of the area particularly, and i think the materials and design should fit in with the area and similar modern RWCMD


Re: Cardiff University, Maindy Road developments

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 4:02 pm

There are some pluses and minuses to the new student building. The pluses are, firstly, a more coherent east side to Park Place; the jumble of existing red brick buildings are undistinguished and are just that –a jumble , not a pleasing jumble. Secondly, and this is a bit of a negative plus, hiding the old students union building - which must be the worst in Cardiff ( though we are not short of close contenders). It would be difficult to have chosen a more unattractive brick for that old student union building, and it was also some achievement that BOTH elevations, west and east, have an entirely discordant relationship with the buildings they face. I remain astonished that the same firm that designed that turd also designed the music department building, confidently modern, but delicately done, with first-rate materials, relating well to its surroundings.

The negatives for the new building are, firstly, the loss of the trees and green space to the south of the current buildings. I've often thought that that space could have been very attractively done if the stone wall along the pavement had been demolished, but having said that the presence of the turdy old student union building would have always limited the potential there.

The second concern I have over the new building is the materials. As we all know, concrete does not age well, and I note with concern that the other buildings owned by the University are not well cared for – they are distinctively grubby, and given that some areas could be spruced up by a bloke on a ladder with a jet wash (i.e. inexpensively), but haven't been, suggests an attitudinal lack of interest in maintaining the appearance of their building stock...... which does not bode well for this new building. It's not only the modern buildings which the university don't seem to care about; the row of Victorian houses running north from the proposed building up Park Place are in an appalling condition - but could look absolutely first rate with some modest expenditure. Does anyone know whether section 106 conditions can be applied to sprucing up existing buildings owned by an applicant? If so, that was an opportunity lost – "you can have your new concrete building as long as you tart up some of your old buildings".

Also, looking at the new building, I can see particular points where you are going to get concentrations of rainwater, and thus localised staining.I'm amazed that architects are still designing buildings in the UK that seem incapable of coping well with rain – and with the design often facilitating localised staining. Some relatively new buildings in Cardiff that immediately spring to mind which appear to be rainproof ( and which are not rain screen, which always is cheap and nasty and horrible ) are the old British Gas building on Churchill Way (now the Premiere Inn) and WMC . The Premier Inn is glass, and although of its time, at least still looks in remarkably fresh condition. And I cannot understand why BRICK is not more widely used other than I suppose on cost grounds. Ironically, the office block opposite the infirmary on Newport Road, which is brick, is now being rendered, which should make it look absolutely shit in about three years. Talk about an own goal.

One idea that was mooted by the university I gather was pedestrianising that stretch of Park Place – from Corbett Road to Museum Place. I've got mixed feelings on that; generally I'm not a fan of pedestrianisation, which often produces little more than predictable sterile shopping precincts. But this could look a lot better, because it would be related to the University, not shops, and if done well, with top quality materials, could be an enhancement. I don't know whether the plans are still there or not.


Re: Cardiff University, Maindy Road developments

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 7:21 pm

Some of you wanted discussion, debate and constructive critique.....

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