The City of Cardiff has unveiled plans by Foster + Partners to redesign the city's Central Square, close to the Millennium Stadium, adding over a million square feet of office, retail and residential buildings organized around a new civic square. Explaining that it is "the key gateway to Cardiff" for many visitors, City Council leader Phil Bale said that Central Square's "role in providing a positive image for Cardiff and Wales cannot be underestimated," adding that Foster + Partners' design is "reflective of the City’s ambition to be amongst the most ‘liveable’ cities in the world."
More on the plan after the break
The design of the new Central Square revolved around the nearby stadium, with the urban fabric key to streamlining the 35,000 spectators who exit the stadium in under 20 minutes after an event such as an international rugby fixture. This entailed the design of a new direct route between the Square and the stadium, named Millennium Walkway, which was specifically designed to handle large volumes of people. Wood street will also be revamped as a new boulevard capable of handling the pedestrian traffic from the Metro station on match days.
At the centre of the masterplan is the new BBC Wales headquarters, also designed by Foster + Partners, which subject to planning approval is scheduled for completion in 2017. The masterplan also includes provisions for a new transport interchange on the site of the existing Marland House and Wood Street car park, to be designed later this year.
The design team was led by Senior Executive Partner at Foster + Partners Gerard Evenden, who was born in the city and studied at the Cardiff School of Architecture.
"With Gerard’s great local knowledge and supported by his team of extremely talented architects Foster + Partners have come up with a fantastic plan," said Paul McCarthy, Chief Executive of Cardiff City Council's development partner Rightacres. "The aspiration is to create Cardiff’s premier business location that will attract indigenous businesses and inward investors to Cardiff. The new buildings will be set around a new square that is right in terms of scale and size and that is capable of being multi-functional to handle events such as food festivals and live street performances."
"People have talked for many years about the regeneration of Central Square but this time it is happening," added McCarthy. "Central Square will present visitors arriving in the City with a first impression that the Capital City deserves."