View Full Version : CARDIFF | Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama extension | U/C
May 24th, 2009, 01:43 PM
Not high-rise, but an important development culturally for Cardiff.
A new 450 seat concert hall, 160 seat theatre, drama rehearsal rooms and gallery space.
From North Road:
From Bute Park:
Don't know if anyone has seen any better renders out there?! Hard to really get a feel for the buildings from these three...
May 24th, 2009, 02:37 PM
I love the design of this development, it'll be such a great entrance to the city when approaching from the North by road. It'll also be a wonderful contrast with the civic centre across the road!
There are some more images on the architects website (in addition to the ones above):
May 26th, 2009, 12:36 AM
I think it will do wonders for the image of the college, too. When you consider that the only substantial performance space in the college itself is the tiny (although very effective for drama) Bute Theatre, this represents a seriously substantial increase in facilities.
Have the day off tomorrow so will pop over and see if I can get some photos of the preliminary holes....!
May 26th, 2009, 01:34 PM
Looking a tthe plan, i wonder how much intereaction with the dock feeder there will be, it would be quite a nice place for an outside terrace and form a better entrance into the park.
May 26th, 2009, 05:32 PM
The render from the park suggests that there will be something along those lines...
Some shots of the site preparation from today. Not much actually happening, though:
And this gives an idea of the size of the site along North Road. The hoardings pretty much double the length of the existing building.
September 15th, 2009, 10:27 PM
Construction has started:
Work has started on a £22.5m building scheme to improve facilities at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.
The plans include a 450 seat concert hall, a 160 seat courtyard theatre, four acting and movement studios and exhibition space.
The college is one of the UK's leading drama schools and trains around 600 students a year.
It's hoped that construction will be completed by 2011.
The college first opened in 1949 and was originally located in Cardiff Castle, donated by the Bute family to the people of Cardiff in 1947.
September 17th, 2009, 12:07 AM
The images were really unimpressive until i saw this one:
Not that is a nice design!
September 17th, 2009, 09:46 AM
From the three renders available I can't form any view of this development. I know what they are building and where it's going but I can't visualise how it will fit in with the existing building or how it will look. Very frustrating.
I assume that the height will be similar to the existing building which is fine although it will stretch a considerable way further up North Rd. This will make for a more impressive gateway into the city especially with the civic centre across the road
September 18th, 2009, 02:00 PM
I think once this is complete the contrast betwen the architectutre on both sides of North Road will be very impressive.
September 18th, 2009, 02:11 PM
I think it's a really great building. RWCMD, as the 4th university in the city is often overlooked, but I think they contribute a lot, with regards creativity and the cities performance culture. This building could be great. I hope theres some kind of performances bar on the top floor, which would offer lovely views of the park
September 20th, 2009, 03:00 PM
Great to see this underway after some of the funding concerns. I'm confident this will massively increase the pulling power of the college. It's well respected (especially for drama) at the moment, but this will really give it facilities to match its reputation.
November 14th, 2009, 05:08 PM
Finally some obvious signs of progress.
Tower crane on site and webcam here: http://www.rwcmd.ac.uk/other/capital_development_project/webcam.aspx
November 22nd, 2009, 02:30 PM
December 13th, 2009, 02:53 PM
December 28th, 2009, 01:57 PM
January 20th, 2010, 11:02 PM
January 20th, 2010, 11:59 PM
Is anyone else concerned by the slow erosion of Bute Park?
January 21st, 2010, 12:02 AM
As long as things stay that side of the water, I don't really see it as erosion of the park. It will have a major visual impact, obviously, but hopefully a positive one. And this is a city centre park after all.
January 21st, 2010, 01:17 AM
Is anyone else concerned by the slow erosion of Bute Park?
Nope. With everything you need to be pragmatic. Everything has a cultural value and parkland is high cultural value but thats not to say it should never ever be built on.
Besides RWCMD is being built on a surface car park. Only a fool supports surface car parks in city centres.
Cardiff council aren't mugs. They know what they are doing and Bute Park will be fine. In a year or so, the nimby's will have moved on to some other fruitless campaign and everyone will have forgotten what all the fuss is about.
January 21st, 2010, 09:14 AM
Well, I think it's possible to be too relaxed about these things. It's interesting that you mention surface car parks - look at what's left of Sophia Gardens! However in the case of Bute Park I don't really think there's any cause for alarm at the moment. The much publicised bridge and road are a fairly minor widening of existing access which will not actually alter the usage of the park, other than to make events easier to set up, and in the case of RWCMD as stated it's mostly developed on the existing car park. Even the small number of trees which were felled were done so in order to extend an existing facility rather than inviting a developer to build afresh on parkland.
January 21st, 2010, 10:06 AM
I don't think this development is really encroaching on Bute Park anyway. The building work is taking place on the land fronting North Rd. It will make for a much more pleasing vista along that road plus provide a vastly improved facility which should enrichen the cultural life of the city.
There will be a facade fronting onto the park but as Dai says above it is a city centre park. I hope it will improve the experience.
In some way Bute Park is under utilised. I took the kids there one Sunday last summer. We were the only family there. Everyone else was shitfaced and the atmosphere was fairly intimidating. Contrast that with Roath Park which is packed every weekend and has a great atmosphere enjoyed by pensioners, families, teenagers, etc. Bute Park is a great facility but seems to me to be chronically underused by anyone other than people getting tanked up, commuters on their way to somewhere else or the dog owners of Pontcanna.
If done properly I'd welcome more development. A play area for kids, a public art trail, a glass house, an bandstand area for summer concerts etc. There is alreadya visitor centre and a cafe planned. There is a fine line between ruining open spaces and enhancing them but I don't think Bute Park should be viewed as sacrosant.
As for Sophia Gardens I'd echo what has been said above. It really is a miserable little strip which has been ruined by over development. The surface car parks have really ripped the guts out of it as has the Welsh Inst of Sport building (surely it wouldn't be built there now)? It's little more than a thoroughfare for people walking into the city centre now.
March 15th, 2010, 08:45 PM
Frustratingly difficult to get decent photos of this development as the only vantage point is from the park side where you can't see most of it, whereas along North Road almost the entire stretch is covered in hoarding.
Anyhow, from the park:
And from the little gaps along North Road:
March 22nd, 2010, 06:47 PM
Worth checking out this (http://www.rwcmd.ac.uk/other/capital_development_project/webcam.aspx) page for the latest webcam shots and some cool timelapse vids.
March 23rd, 2010, 12:57 AM
I cant wait to see this finnished, will add a bit of modern flair next to the civic center.
March 27th, 2010, 04:10 AM
First concert on the 'stage' for the benefit of the builders!
Students put on concert for builders
Mar 26 2010 by Jessica Flynn, South Wales Echo
Add a commentRecommend THE first performance has been given at a new £22.5m concert hall – to an audience of builders.
Musicians from the Castle Brass ensemble at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama performed in front of builders working on the new auditorium, which is due to be completed early next year.
The scheme will redevelop the North Road site in Cardiff, with a new 450-seat concert hall, 160-seat courtyard theatre and four acting and movement studios.
Band member Gareth Robinson said: “Being the first ensemble to play on the Royal Welsh College’s new concert hall stage was a privilege for us as a brass quintet.
“Castle Brass has been together for 18 months and this has been one of our most exciting gigs yet. Playing in front of a group of builders in the outdoors was a very different but enjoyable experience for us too.
“We were proud to represent the college by performing at this new venue and hope we get the chance to do so again soon.”
Fellow Castle Brass player Sion Tansley said: “It was great to play at the heart of the building and even at this early stage we can imagine what it will be like to perform there when it’s finished.”
The college has recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, and is now the first All-Steinway Conservatoire in the UK, and the new facilities will be an important addition to the college’s professional training and performance facilities.
Alan Pitman, operations manager for Willmott Dixon, said: “It was fantastic for the construction team on site to have a taste of the work that goes on within the college and we all enjoyed the performance.
“Work has been developing well on site and we have already made significant progress on the concert hall. The groundwork is finished and we have completed the exterior drum of the concert hall and theatre.
“We are now progressing with internal works where the acting and movement studios will be located. The college is in a fantastic location and once completed will raise the already high quality of the college’s reputation both at home and internationally.”
March 28th, 2010, 09:10 PM
Its really coming on isn't it. It will be a fantastic addition to the buildings around Cathays Park. What with the Campus Horizons project that Cardiff University are undertaking and the rumour about another Uni Glam campus relocating to the city it seems that the HE sector will be another great driver for development in the city.
I saw the new bridge into Bute Park yesterday. To be honest I was expecting it to be much bigger. Am I correct in thinking that this bridge is the subject of the protests a few months back?
March 28th, 2010, 09:14 PM
What's the Glamorgan Uni rumour about? First I've heard of that one. Would be good if they come up with another Atrium!
Yes, the new road bridge into the park was indeed the subject of the protests - well that and widening of some of the existing paths / roads within the park.
March 29th, 2010, 02:50 PM
DaiB - I was in a meeting and it was mentioned that Uni Glam were looking for another site in the city. This is due to the success of the Atrium Campus in attracting new students and want to capitalise on the city location.
Thanks for the confirmation of the bridge, hate to be controversial but its not that bad is it?
April 4th, 2010, 05:35 PM
The bridge is fine, although I have to say that the road widening seems to have quite an impact at the moment - although this is probably largely due to the fact that there's plenty of work still underway and the area feels like a building site. I'm sure that when the work (and landscaping) is complete then the end result will be little different to how it was before.
Updates from today; the buildings are now rising above the hoardings an all sides:
And certainly the view from the park at the moment suggests that the development will not be overly intrusive - especially when the trees are in foliage:
The last photo gives an idea of the width of the upgraded pathways.
April 5th, 2010, 10:27 AM
Thanks for the information. I think in the overall scheme the bridge it will look quite tidy and both developments will add greatly to the overall first impression on entering town from the north.
April 18th, 2010, 01:01 AM
Few from today:
June 20th, 2010, 08:54 PM
Plenty of progress since my last visit:
June 21st, 2010, 12:29 PM
Thanks for the updates!
June 21st, 2010, 09:24 PM
You're welcome. Really looking forward to seeing what this is like once complete. I'm surprised by how much it's wrapped around the old building, especially from the North Road view. No bad thing really.
July 3rd, 2010, 06:51 PM
From today. Some steel work to add to the concrete, really taking shape now:
July 24th, 2010, 09:18 PM
Lots more steel:
July 25th, 2010, 10:47 AM
Its looking good, quite signifiacant from the road as well. Thanks for the update!
July 25th, 2010, 03:59 PM
It's a heck of a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be.:)
July 25th, 2010, 04:35 PM
I'm kinda glad it looks big as it will add some gravitas to the road in, and pull some of the urbinity across the road.
August 16th, 2010, 08:33 PM
October 24th, 2010, 10:57 PM
Starting to look good now. A lot more glass along the North Road facade than was apparent from the renders. A good thing if you ask me!
October 27th, 2010, 10:25 PM
That's looking great! Last time I past was during the Cardiff Half (but my mind was elsewhere at that point). Only live 2 minutes away as well so need to take a good look and get out my SLR!
February 14th, 2011, 06:46 PM
February 15th, 2011, 01:29 PM
I go past this building everyday and it looks quality. Can't wait to see it finished. It will really add to the sense of arrival into the city centre and compliment the civic centre of the opposite side of North Rd.
March 17th, 2011, 09:14 PM
Not long to go now, looking really good although i think more wood is needed on the round section as looksa bit sparse close up
April 8th, 2011, 04:41 AM
Noticed they have rendered the origional buildign in white facing north road. Wonder fi tehy will do the same to the rear as shown in the renders?
April 13th, 2011, 08:56 PM
April 18th, 2011, 06:43 PM
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cf247/5627895881/) by Gerald Peake # Shutt'rBlade.com (http://www.flickr.com/people/cf247/), on Flickr
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cf247/5627896657/) by Gerald Peake # Shutt'rBlade.com (http://www.flickr.com/people/cf247/), on Flickr
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cf247/5627897053/) by Gerald Peake # Shutt'rBlade.com (http://www.flickr.com/people/cf247/), on Flickr
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cf247/5627895445/) by Gerald Peake # Shutt'rBlade.com (http://www.flickr.com/people/cf247/), on Flickr
April 19th, 2011, 02:04 AM
Absolutely love it!
July 4th, 2011, 06:36 PM
cardiff RWCM (http://www.flickr.com/photos/damiavos/5900516739/) by damiandude (http://www.flickr.com/people/damiavos/), on Flickr
cardiff RWCM interior (http://www.flickr.com/photos/damiavos/5900520195/) by damiandude (http://www.flickr.com/people/damiavos/), on Flickr
July 4th, 2011, 11:18 PM
July 5th, 2011, 12:19 AM
So how does this facility rank in the UK then?
July 5th, 2011, 01:57 AM
That's very smart
July 5th, 2011, 12:22 PM
July 28th, 2011, 11:52 PM
P7259320 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/21732688@N03/5977894359/) by stephenanstiss (http://www.flickr.com/people/21732688@N03/), on Flickr
P7259321 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/21732688@N03/5978460594/) by stephenanstiss (http://www.flickr.com/people/21732688@N03/), on Flickr
August 4th, 2011, 02:17 PM
drove past it the other day, certainly adds gravtias to the city scape as you arrive from the North. its very grand coming down North road now, a great addition to the city, some very interesting architecture that I do beleive will stand the test of time.
looking forward to walking through Bute park and seeing it from that angle
October 29th, 2011, 10:17 PM
Some great photos on Dezeen: http://www.dezeen.com/2011/10/29/royal-welsh-college-of-music-and-drama-by-bfls/