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Old May 2nd, 2006, 09:53 AM   #1
Andrew
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CARDIFF | St David's 2 | U/C

St David's 2 Cardff: Design Evolution

While doing a bit of a search around the internet for things I came across a set of drawings of the St David's 2 development at www.civicarts.com. This set includes a number of drawings that I hadn't seen before, they are particularly interesting because of their quality and because they show how the designs for the scheme have evolved over time. That gave me the idea to create this thread.
I have taken the drawings and renders from the various stages of the project and put them side by side to show how the designs have progressed over time.

Every image posted here was taken from one of the following:
a) The outline planning application (dated May 2003), available from www.stdavids2.com
b) The relevant section of www.civicarts.com
c) Images of the current design taken from www.stdavids2.com
d) My own photos of the architectural model on display in the development office, The Hayes, Cardiff

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Aerial views of the whole development alongside a photo of how it currently looks:









Particular aspects of the development

Termed 'Market Square' in the 2003 outline application, this is the north western corner of the development where St Davids 2 will join with St Davids Centre at what's currently Hill's Street:



At the southern end of The Hayes where there is currently a junction with Hayes Bridge Road, Bridge Street and Mill Lane. A new public space will be created, termed Hayes Place in the outline application:



Running North-South through the middle of the development is the Grand Arcade. It is meant to be a new take on the historic arcades in Cardiff rather than feel like just another shopping mall. In this respect, the newest design seems to work better than the older ones but to what extent it will capture the feel of Cardiff's old arcades remains to be seen:



The 'open market' will go where the current St David's Market is on Barrack Lane. From the drawings, it appears to create a public space outside the Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral of St David. I hope this space is well designed a creates a focal point around the Cathedral because at present this space is very under-utilised, a huge shame in my opinion. It's difficult to tell exactly what this space will be like but I'm a little worried about the design quality of the building on this side, the wall in the final drawing looks very bland, I hope it doesn't continue to just feel like a back alleyway like it does now:


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An obvious and (in my opinion) very welcome change to the masterplan has centred on the question of what to do with central library. As can be seen from the 2003 outline application, they had intended to keep the library in it's current building and integrate it with the rest of the development:


I think that while it's clear from the pictures that they did make some attempt to create a public space outside, this original idea would have meant the library was basically religated to a back street position. Also, alongside the new development the current library building would look outdated and unimpressive.
I dont know what exactly has happened to the library in the drawings on the Civic Arts website, looking at the aerial drawing it appears to be gone from it's current position, I dont know if they had decided to move it to the bottom of The Hayes by that point or not, cant really tell from the drawings...




It was decided at some point in the process to demolish the current library building and to build a replacement at the southern end of The Hayes in a landmark building fronting Hayes Place. Personally I really like this idea, it has produced what appears to be an excellently designed building in a very prominent position. It's position will help to ensure that the public space is well used and vice versa. I also think there's a nice bit of symbolism having the Old Library and the new library at either end of The Hayes, it kinda symbolises old and new Cardiff, I think it could work well...






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Another area where there has been a change in the masterplans is the inclusion of the site on Adam Street; the original plans included the development of high-rise flats and a multi-story car park on this site. Since the 2003 outline application there appear to have been no more images of the developers intentions for the site (well at least not in the public domain anyway). It seems that there are still plans to develop the Adam St site but we're likely going to have to wait a few more years to see what they'll be in any detail. In the meantime, here are the drawings from the May '03 outline application:




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Old May 2nd, 2006, 09:54 AM   #2
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Here are all the images from www.civicarts.com altogether in one post, some of which have been seen before, others haven’t:














Well, I hope you found this interesting, I personally find it interesting looking at the different stages that the designs for a project go through and their progression towards the final design.
It’s taken me a while to upload everything to this thread so lets have some discussion going on here. What do you think of the designs at each stage? What elements do you like/dislike and which do you think work or not? Are there any aspects of the designs you wish they’d got rid of or kept?
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 01:37 PM   #3
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Andrew

i've been waiting for this for a few days and it sure is interesting to see the evolution of projects - ther are always many factors involved in such things.

Personally, i cannot wait for this project to get started as it will dramaticaly change the centre of Cardiff. for those who don't know Cardiff this area is about as central in the city centre as you can get, it touches almost all aspects of the city centre.

Mill lane looks a little claustrophobic but I think it will work well, it will become more 'euiopean' in feel with cafe bars on roads with failry tall buildings either side....

I note your point about the two libraries, and whilst I overlooked that point previously it deos seem to be a good idea now you have mentioned it....

I love the mock up, seems a bit more to it that the Braodmead mock up i've just seen in Bristol. Although at least they have a tower in plan opposite Castlemead, should work quite well....

anyway, good stuff, more of the same would be nice.... can't you start a thread about roath basin now :-)
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 01:50 PM   #4
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I dont have that much on Roath Basin but I was thinking of doing one on the Sports Villange, there's plenty of drawings and renders for that, especially with the new ones recently put up on the council website.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 10:36 PM   #5
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great thread! thanks or putting it all down like that. My reservation about the scheme is that the grand arcade is so double storey like every other shopping centre. it doesnt feel at all like an old arcade. Also its a shame the city will be loosing bridge street and this east west route will be lost. Additionally, the new John Lewis has stuck itself out into the hayes view, as though scared of being missed. in doing so it has blocked off the view down a historic route to the bay via the golden cross pub.... so just a few complaints.

Good news though. the Roath basin site is being designed by the architect of Borneo Sporenburg in Amsterdam!! Very good news indeed!
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 10:03 PM   #6
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I agree about the grand arcade, while I think the current design is way better than the first ones it still doesnt have the same feel as the originals. I suspect it has a lot to do with modern floorspace requirements as well as the double story feel of it. The old arcades twist and turn and have funny shaped shop units which gives them so much of their character, that simply isnt feasible in a modern shopping centre, a shame in my opinion.

Compare the old arcades to the only image we have of the one in St David's 2:




The grand arcade in St David's 2:


Interestingly, the grand arcade's roof makes it feel a little bit more like Cardiff indoor market:


It seems that they tried before to copy the arcades, and completely failed with Queens Arcade, it tries to emulate the roof detailing in a post modern kind of a way but still manages to feel like nothing other than a shopping mall!
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Old May 13th, 2006, 06:26 PM   #7
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No comments??
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Old May 14th, 2006, 11:21 AM   #8
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I think the plans look really good, i agree that its interesting to see how these things evolve. What i'm impressed with is that it seems far less generic than the usual city centre redevelopment, it looks to fit in quite well and makes an attempt to create a continental type atmosphere. The new library building looks cool too. I've not actually been to Cardiff so can't comment much but it looks like being a fab addition!

Good work Andrew!
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Old May 14th, 2006, 12:45 PM   #9
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At the end of the day, it's just going to look like a shopping mall. The best we can hope for is that it looks expensive and well designed like Capitol mark 2, and not cheap and half-arsed like Queen's Arcade or Capitol mark 1 (although having said that I quite like the new QA entrance, it makes it look much less cheesily postmodern).
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 06:20 PM   #10
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I would love it to reflect the old arcades but I think Lyndon's probably right in that it's most probably going to be just another shopping mall. I'd love it if we were both proven wrong though but I just dont see how they're going to make it like a contemporary version of the old arcades.
I've looked on the St David's 2 website and there's no recent development update. Can anyone tell me the status of it, has demolition started yet or at least a date that it's due to start?
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 09:06 AM   #11
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Of course the development won't be reminiscent of the arcades: the design is modern and corporate (the concourses are far too wide, the sightlines too long), and the stores are probably going to be the usual national chains rather than any unusual, individual small shops.

Despite all that, it's a very good development for Cardiff - given that it's going to DOUBLE the city centre retail floorspace, it doesn't really matter that it's probably just going to be another non-descript mall.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 06:43 PM   #12
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I almost looks too wide. Maybe they should've made two parallel "arcades" in the same space. At least that would provide a more intimate atmosphere.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 07:04 PM   #13
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I agree, I think they're going to have trouble replicating the atmosphere of the old arcades with the main one being so big. One of the things that make the arcades what they are is their size and intimacy as well as the routes they take. The problem is that modern floorspace requirements prevent them from designing such intimate spaces anymore and I think that without that it's not going to be any more than a shopping mall. I just hope it turns out to be a good quality shopping mall.

By the way, has anyone noticed any start on this one? I know the Marriott car park has begun but what about the main site? Are all the shops and offices vacated yet and is there any timetable for demoltion and subsequent construction to begin?
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Old July 26th, 2006, 07:22 PM   #14
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Pure shite.I think the,re making a big mistake.
We want less shopping centres in our city centres not more, and more individuality.It also blocks several streets through the city making it more difficult to walk around at night.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 02:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANDREW
By the way, has anyone noticed any start on this one? I know the Marriott car park has begun but what about the main site? Are all the shops and offices vacated yet and is there any timetable for demoltion and subsequent construction to begin?
The last I read was that July / August should see the main activity beginning, including demolition of the Ice Rink ( which is already closed), the library moving into the temporary set up next to the former WNO warehouse, and demolition of the old library building. Subsequently will come the Marriot car park move, Toys r Us moving to the bay and demolition of their building and construction for the new library.

Most of the shops on the Hays / Oxford arcade have now closed, and I think it's fair to say that from now on it'll be non-stop activity connected with St Davids 2.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 04:10 PM   #16
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I went into Cardiff for the first time in a year yesterday and it was pretty interesting seeing the changes. It was a bit of a shock to see the place though, it's to be expected and it's actually a sign of progress but boy is the place a mess!! It's only gonna get worse though when mass demolition takes place and the city centre feels like a bomb site but the great thing is knowing that it'll only be a year or two before we see what's effectively a brand new city centre!
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Old August 20th, 2006, 10:13 PM   #17
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It seems that the designs for this scheme have evolved a little more

Grand Arcade previous and current designs:




Interesting changes... I'm really not sure what to make of them. As someone already said the curved roof and steel supports could potentially give it some of the grandeur of one of Brunel's train station arches, on the other hand the attempt at a more shiny, glitzy look could turn it into even more of 'just another shopping mall' (which it was already looking very much like anyway).
Unfortunalely, even with relatively high quality renders it's not easy to tell and it looks like we'll just have to wait and see.


View south from Hayes Island previous and current designs:




When I first saw that new render I wasnt sure I liked the massive increase in bulk but now when I compare it directly with the older renders I've changed my mind, it actually makes the less dense, earlier designs look wrong in my opinion. I think the increase in density is a welcome thing, it'll definately give that part of the city a much more urban feel. However it is quite a simple, modernist design, one that could if they're not careful look very boring. On the other hand a simple clean design like this could nicely complement David Morgans without upstaging it. Which of the two possibilities it turns out to be I think very much depends upon the quality and use of materials. Again it's something we'll just have to wait and see, hopefully it'll be great but if it isn't it'll be too late by the time we find out!

I created this thread as a place to discuss the design changes in the St David's 2 scheme, there have been a lot of changes over this project's life and these new ones are pretty important ones coming so late in the day. This thread has been quiet for a while but we've got something more to talk about now so lets have a bit of discussion. Design is a subject I'm quite interested in and I'd like to see a decent informed debate on the development and these new changes.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 01:23 PM   #18
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I think the new grand arcade has gone from a potentially quite in keeping, traditional feeling, straight forward and simple place into a pastel coloured mall just like any other. The secong to last one seemed a little bit like a covered street which is what is special about cardiffs arcades - the new one looks like an indoor mall just like any other. I personally hate the curve of the roof and would much prefer a piched one...

However I think the increased height is more urban and the design seems more coherent. I also prefer the vertical windows to the horizontal -much better. However its impossible to tell from those renders how balanced the sides of the street will be. Im guessing that it will be much higher on the st davids side and overpower the old david morgan side?
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Old January 7th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #19
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Strangely enough civic arts have added more renders of the original design of St David's 2 to their website even though it's not the design that's actually being built! They're interesting to look at though:





I'm so glad we didn't get that design, it was so po-mo, used way too much brown inside and those statues... eugh! I personally prefer the more 'soviet' look of the current designs to these.

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Old January 19th, 2007, 03:07 PM   #20
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people have to remember that the arcades built in the 19th and 20th centuries relfected Cardiff's importance in relative size in the overall scheme of things....

the fact that we're going to have one of the biggest in door shopping areas in all of the Uk for a city of our size is truly unbeleivable. Cardiff really is punching above its weight in this resepct. I think the new development will be a 21st century take on the arcade concept....with all of Cardiff's shopping being in a ten minute radius we'll easily compete with the best that other cities have to offer....

nearest is Bristol, the mall and the city centre are at least five miles apart....

manchester has the trafford centre and market street, about ten miles apart...

so we do have a distinct advantage in being able to offer both worlds relatively close to each other....the independant shops in the old arcades and the newer bigger braded shops in St Davids and SD2....

My really one big wish is that we get a decent open air market in Cardiff, one that is prominent and not stuck out the back behind Debenhams again....

make it a feature, a prominent feature that adds hustle and bustle to a vibrant city centre.....

personally I can't wait for this to be finished....this could quite possibly kick start another round of Cardiff's regeneration....
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