Foster & Partners unveils masterplan for Cardiff's Central Square

31 October 2014

Foster & Partners has published proposals to transform Cardiff's Central Square to include 90,000m2 of office, retail and residential buildings around a new civic square, designed by Foster's Cardiff-born senior executive partner Gerard Evenden.

A new bus station and direct pedestrian route to the Millennium Stadium, known as Millennium Walkway, will also be created, reports Building Design. The masterplan replaces a previous attempt to redevelop the square by Stride Treglown three years ago.

Wood Street will be turned into a "boulevard" flanked by office buildings and with space for the city's proposed metro. At the centre of the development will be the new BBC Wales HQ, also designed by Foster & Partners, which is scheduled for completion in 2017, subject to planning.

Central Square was created in the 1930s to provide a setting for the railways station but has suffered from neglect and social problems in recent years.

Rob Firth, vice-president of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales (RSAW), welcomed the new plans and said work to improve the "desperate" square was long overdue.

"Along with the areas just to the north and south, this is the last element that links the bay to the centre," he said. "The developer has done a number of other projects in Cardiff. Previously I was always worried about design quality but this time the design looks decent."

Bringing the BBC into the city centre, hot on the heels of Glenn Howells' offices for Admiral Insurance which opened last month, would revitalise that part of Cardiff through the injection of hundreds of office workers, he said.

Carole-Anne Davies, chief executive of the Design Commission for Wales, said: "The masterplan proposals for Cardiff's Central Square represent a catalyst for the transformation of the city's profile and its capacity to attract further investment."



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