Cardiff and Vale College, New City Centre Community Campus

Excellent value for the client and quality of space

Credit: Gareth Gardner

BDP for Cardiff & Vale College

Contract value: £26m

GIA: 16,500m2


This learning ‘village’ brings together a wide range of activities into the heart of the community it is intended to serve.

From the urban street frontage, the college is presented as a ‘book end’, with two dynamic pointed ends and between them a softer, curvaceous central section. The campus projects a powerful presence, with the six storey wedge of the building capped by an angular, overhanging roof. As the surrounding land is developed this will blend into a new urban scale. 

  • Credit: Gareth Gardner
  • Credit: Gareth Gardner
  • Credit: Nick Caville
  • Credit: Gareth Gardner

Inside is a light-filled atrium which has the feel of a sheltered, gently meandering street into which clusters of inhabited balconies and rooms, finished in a wide palette of strong colours, project and overlook. Commercial activities have been located on the ground floor, creating a place of activity, movement and orientation, with the two brightly painted stair cores signalling how to ascend. It is a legible building and a fine response to a complex brief, achieving excellent value for the client and quality of space and environment for the staff and students. 

See other winners of the RIBA Regional Awards 2016 – Wales


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