Wales: The Latest Architecture and News
Plans for a new iron ring sculpture located at Flint Castle in Wales have been put on hold following public outcry.
Earlier this week, George King Architects was selected as the winners of a competition held by the Welsh Government to design a signature art piece celebrating Wales’ Year of Legends with their proposal, the Iron Ring, which consists of a large circular structure embedded in the earth at just two points to create a cantilevered observation point with views of the castle and the River Dee.
But opponents of the design have claimed that the sculpture is an overt reference to the “iron ring” of fortresses used by King Edward I to “subjugate and oppress” the people of Wales during his reign from 1272 to 1307. After an online petition calling for the project to be scrapped reached over 7,000 signatures, Economy Secretary Ken Skates announced a "pause" to review the design.
Cardiff City Council has just approved the third and latest phase of Cardiff University's £300 million Innovation Campus. Hawkins\Brown and HOK each designed one building for the project, which will bring together researchers, students, investors, and businesses to work on technological innovations and new enterprises that aim to drive economic growth. The project is the latest development in Cardiff University's vision of embedding innovation within the university's fabric and generating a self-sustaining cycle of economic growth for the community as a whole.
Foster + Partners has won the competition to design Cardiff Interchange, the city’s central bus station. Part of the wider Central Square regeneration masterplan for the area, also by Foster + Partners, the interchange is being relocated closer to the Cardiff Central train station in an effort to allow greater integration of all transportation networks and accommodate future growth in passenger traffic.
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 results of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Future Trends Survey for July 2014 show that the Workload Index among UK practices fell back to +28 (from +34 in June) with confidence levels among RIBA practices about the level of future workloads remaining "very strong in practices of all sizes across the whole of the UK." Whereas last month’s survey saw Scotland top the index with a balance figure of +50, London showed the greatest strength in July with a balance figure of +38. Practices located in Wales and the West were the most cautious about prospects for future workloads, returning a balance figure of just +12. The survey shows that actual workloads have been growing for four consecutive quarters and the overall value of work in progress last month was 10% higher than this time last year.
The results of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Future Trends Survey for May show that the Workload Index among UK practices was slightly down in comparison to April (from +35 to +33) with the recovery in confidence levels remaining consistently "very strong" across the country. Although last month's survey showed London as the region with the brightest outlook, confidence levels reported by architects in Wales and the West topped the index with a balance figure of +49. Workload forecasts in the private sector, public sector and community sector have all significantly increased.
A design by Dow Jones Architects for a new Maggie's Centre in Wales has received planning permission. The centre will enhance the existing cancer care facilities at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff which provides support across South-Eastern Wales. The building sits in gardens designed by RHS Gold Medallist Cleve West, and has an intimate relationship with the surrounding landscape, with rooms that open onto woodland gardens.
Read more about the design after the break
Lines Drawn, the latest gathering of student delegates by the Architecture Students Network (ASN), recently met at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) to discuss the future of architectural education. Seventy RIBA Part 1, 2 and 3 students (including those on their placement years) from across twenty two schools of architecture gathered together to address and unify their voice in calling for improvements to the current pedagogy of UK’s architectural education to reflect a changing society.
The weekend conference provoked questions surrounding the merits and pitfalls of the Part 1, 2 and 3 British route to qualification, raising aspirations of a more flexible education system. Sparked by the latest directive from the European Union (EU), which seeks to "establish more uniformity across Europe by aligning the time it takes to qualify" and by making mutual recognition of the architect's title easier between countries, the discussions centred around how architecture students' opinions can be harnessed at this critical moment of change to have voices heard.
Continue reading for ArchDaily's exclusive pre-coverage of the ASN's report.
London based practice Juice Architects has unveiled designs for an offshore visitor centre as part of the proposed tidal lagoon for Swansea Bay, Wales. A series of overlapping shells are sculpted to form a bowl like structure, providing shelter from the wind and waves of the Welsh coast. Sat on a manmade island platform at the end of a collection of land piers, the building will act as a cultural and educational base housing public galleries, a café, a lecture theatre and exhibition space with working turbine propellors visible through the the ground floor gallery. As an entirely self sufficient building all energy will be captured from renewable sources.
BFLS won an international design competition in 2007 to design a new building for the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Wales’ leading music and drama conservatoire. The new addition to the College’s professional training and performance facilities will comprise the 150‐seat Richard Burton Theatre, along with the 450‐seat Chamber Recital Hall, four Acting & Movement Studios and an Exhibition Gallery.
More images and architect’s description after the break.