BSc I / II

The Institute of Use

An existing organisation in mid Wales, the Institute of Use provides a home to many local community projects such as a Scout troop and yoga classes. But it is formally a field research centre used by Cardiff University.

This project aimed to provide a new building for the Institute which would better suit its needs. The owners were particularly keen that the different uses would be able to overlap and the building would become much more communal and social.

The estate which the Institute belongs to is covered in plantations of Western Hemlock and Norway Spruce trees. The new building is to sprawl out into the trees and provide a space for each of the activities that occur in the building. But they will congregate around a single communal space in the centre. The building is also to provide spaces for woodworking and teaching along with better dormitories and laboratories for the field research.

The building’s form is intended to reflect the functions within. The individual spaces for the different uses vary in their axis and materials. It is exclusively single storey except for the communal space in the centre which stands above the rest of the building and features heavier glazing.

The communal space acts as a nucleus or core of the building and its design is intentionally simple. Fundamentally the space provides seating for meal times, but there are long views down into the specific spaces for the different uses. It is hoped that the core space will encourage display and discussion of the work going on within the Institute and act as a canvas for this. It will therefore undergo many visual changes in conjunction with how the people and the activities within the building change.

Porth Teigr Housing

This project mimicked a real one based in Cardiff Bay. The bay is an area which has undergone a drastic period of redevelopment over the last 30 years and is hardly recognisable as the industrial coal capital of the world it once was. The bay is now home to the Welsh National Opera and BBC Wales.

Porth Teigr is one of the final areas of the bay to be regenerated and this scheme wished to provide housing to support the new industries in the area.

This project created 18 dwellings with a large public space beneath them. The flats are open plan and the building borders one of the old docks from the bay’s former industrial days.

These dwellings are primarily aimed at young professionals in the area who would work in the nearby Centre for Creative Industries, an institution which would support the digital side of production for the nearby television studios.

The flats themselves are relatively simple in nature but comfortably fit all that is required. The balconies sit out over the old dock and the large glazed wall provides long views down the flat and across onto the bay itself.