Couldn't find the last post on this development however it looks like things are starting on the old dairy site at the bottom of Newport Rd. Plans were for a Morrisons there, don't know if this was approved!
There are quite a few heavy plant machines on site.
Anyone know what's going there?
Morrisons were given planning permission some time back so I imagine it is the commencement of build.
Also on Newport Road, anyone know what construction is going on just opposite The Trade Union building on the old Cardiff Institute for The Blind? There's a crane and it looks like they're building another storey (or a few storeys)
I can see it going up now from our office in Brunel House.
Shand House is having an extra floor or two added and is becoming student housing with retail on the ground floor.
The late 80s office buildings on Newport Road and at the start of Cowbridge Road West really are ugly aren't they...
Could be worse. Just think of that terrible tower next to the Millenium Stadium. I'd take Brunel House, Eastgate House even over that rubbish.
Since it's on the today's banner, here's an up to date pic of the progress on the new student accomation on Newport Road (old Shand House building)
Three new storeys gone up already. I thought it was only supposed to be two new ones?
This is the kind of development that excites.
Its a subtle evolution - it wont be a building that you can see from afar, but when you find yourself in it - its like discovering a piece of street art- it has a metropolitan tempo, emotion, bustle - the street becomes closer to 24hr - hundreds of people will now experience Cardiff from this height and this central location.
Inner city living - urban expression will come from this lifestyle.
Its the 6 to 10 story buildings which do it for me.
More please - throughout Caerdydd.
Newport Road is a very odd mix of good and bad.
The Hodge Building (now the Holland House Hotel) is easily the best mid twentieth century tower in Cardiff and Brunel House and Longcross Court for all their brutalism are striking.
Some of the post-modern tat is truely dreadful though. I'm thinking particularly of the faux castle occupied by Cardiff Sixth Form College and the complex of office buildings north of the NCP car park in Knox Road. Abysmal.
I agree about Newport Rd being an odd mix. The Uni building is lovely apart from the 70's extension which is just ridiculous. I also like the GMB building, Shand House, Holland House, the building with the Enviroment Agency in and the Allied Irish bank building. Then of course you have St James church and the CRI buildings as well as the distant spires of the churches on the corner of Broadway and Clifton st.
But in amongst that there are a couple of stinkers - Eastgate House is a brute and the 1980's offices closest to the railway bridge (Blenheim Court etc) have out of town business park written all over them. I'd love to see them knowcked down and something taller and with more glass built creating an impressive vista eastwards.
For me the worst building by some considerable distance - even worse than the crappy care homes opposite the CRI - is Longcross Court. How can such a degenerative building be built at such an important location. Why is it stepped back on a corner plot?
Also the railway bridge going into Queen St station is horrible and tacky.
Cardiff is criss crossed by railway bridges and apart from the ones with the Brains adverts which at least exhibit some local flavour they are all really unattractive. The Queen Street one is abominal but the one in Cathays at the junction of St Andrews Place and Salisbury Rd is so rusty and uncared for it's a standing insult.
It's often said that the railway lines represent a psychological barrier to city centre expansion. There is something to this although there is little that can be done. However the unappealing nature of these various bridges surely doesn't help matters?
Newport road is easily the main artery of Cardiff. It's a long avenue with loads of tall(ish) buildings, and easily on of the most impressive parts of the city, and very New York-like.
That being said, it has its share of uglies. Blenheim Court and the building next to Shand House are showing their age, and they look so similar that I wonder if they had the same architect.
Brunel House, is a concrete mammoth, but it has potential. With some now cladding or a lick of paint, and some now windows, I think it could easily go from ugly duckling into a swan.
The area looks cool at night, and I think if we erected a couple of neon signs it could turn into a mini Times Square/Trafalgar Square.
you obviously rate Newport Road more highly than I do. while some bits are ok (mostly the bits where older buildings still stand), I woundn't say it is much like new york.
I'm talking about the bit by Queen Street
I have to agree that Newport Road has an American feel to it, but comparing it to New York is a bit far.
The Old Medicine building is truly exquisite. Some really good patterns and animal gargoyles around the roof. To make the extension did they knock down an old wing of the building?
Holland House is vile, Brunel House has potential. The subtle curves on a Brutalist piece of architecture has a certain je ne sais pas about it, but then again I am rather a big fan of good Brutalism, the Welsh Office is a prime example of good Brutalism, apart from the roof. There are some horrible pastiches on the road but the further down you go you get some lovely villas which are a real asset and the hospital and churches are beautiful.
It certainly needs some TLC but I don't think anything will happen. If I were in the council I would start fining buildings that are left to disrepair or to become unkempt. Many buildings on Newport Road, Queen Street and Cathays are filthy and bring a very bad image to the city - student houses, white skyscrapers and the old Clinton Cards units being prime examples. I know it's a bit OTT but something needs to be done about the rotting frontages of buildings in the city
That Clinton Cards unit is atrocious! It's towered by such beautiful buildings. Does anyone know if there are any plans for it? Wonder if there's anything worth salvaging underneath that awful facade...
I quite like the façade. Not many buildings of that style in Cardiff, (Art Nouveau I believe?) it needs a lick of paint and I think it should be okay. Would be nice to see it go to the same level as the Topshop building but I don't think that will ever happen
I don't think that building is art nouveau. I thought that style was associated with elaborate decoration, curves, decorative mouldings etc. I'd say it was art deco if anything although a very poor example.
It has been left to wrack and ruin by it's owner who - until recently - was happy to pocket the probable 250k rent p.a. which must be some yield. It breaks up the streetscape because its so much shorter than surrounding buildings.
It also has the distinction, in my view, of being the only really poor building on the north side of Queen Street. Some of the newer buildings currently housing Primark, HMV etc are not great although the materials used are good quality and they are of an appropriate scale. Even the 80's pastiche buildings (Lloyds TSB opposite the castle and the block between Park Lane and Windsor Place) have their charms. This building is really grisly though.
The problem is I can't see it being replaced with something bigger. The days of 3-4 storey retail buildings in that part of Queen Street are probably gone for a good few years and it's not prime office or residential territory (even with retail on the ground floor). As such there isn't a huge incentive for developers to do something with it.
If you look at old photos of that building, it was higher, and uglier... I think you may be imagining its historical beauty...
If you want a fine example of Art Deco look at the Santander building (the one on the McDonald's side). It's fantastic. By the way, I'm glad that other people admire the Brunel building and its curve! Thought it was just me.
I would like to see it clad though. The concrete is just too harsh for a modern building and it juxtaposes to aggressively against the flats opposite it. The windows need to be replaced and I think more should be done to exaggerate its curve. But all in all, not bad for a period when Cardiff was a city that people didn't want to live in.
Yes, it does need a spruce up. The windows need changing at least.
Just adding some updates for Newport Road old Institute For The Blind (Shand House) redevelopment.
The crane is gone and the scaffolding is coming down. Looks like it turned out to be three new storeys in the centre, and two at the edge to make the roof uniform.
Not sure about it myself. It'll probably grow on me.
In this picture you can just see the old union building on the corner of West Grove also being unveiled.
I give that a 6 to 6.5 out of ten based on that photo. Looks more promising than I had expected.
You're doing a bit of running around, Cardiff
Thanks, i wanted to have a look what they are all turning out like so took a cammera as well. Just didint make it to the new Uni buildings.
It would appear as I'd the architects have given Shand house a pastiche sixties makeover. Why bother
Holy shit, they have transformed a decent post war buildin into an almighty turd!
Why couldn't they just keep the windows the same size?
This shit isn't brain surgery!
It is interesting to see 2 buildings refurbished in close proximity with different results.
The GMB building was in my opinion crap and looks to have had a great re-fit.
However the original blind institute wasn't too bad and now is crap. When adding extra floors its appears better to step back like they did with the building further down Newport Road & the one by Queens St station.
The worst is the difference in brick colours - There is a line of differing colours but where they have lost 1 or 2 of the older bricks they have used the new bricks and brooken up the transition - couldnt they have used some of the olde bricks from round the back?
I actually liked the GMB building as it was before but the I have to admit that the refurb looks very good. It also encompasses quite a large rear extension which gives the Parade facade a much better presence as well.
As for Shand House I went past there today. Christ on a bike. What the fuck have they done? Shand House was unusual in that it was clearly a 1950's building that wasn't totally hideous. In fact it was half decent. A couple of extra floors would - I thought naively - actually improve it.
A bigger scale for the corner plot which would be more appropriate in that section of Newport Rd.
All they had to do was match up the fenestration and try to keep the materials either consistent or at least complimentary. As it stands the refurb has absolutely mullered the building. It looks terrible. It will stand the test of time I fear - it will feature in architecture books as an example of what happens when crap architects meet clients who don't give a shit.
Surely Shand House must have been built wrong/on the cheap by the building contractor? No architect would want to have that to their name. It's reputational suicide.
Oh my god, what a contrast between a wonderful makeover and a total fuck-up. I was so taken in by the GMB makeover when I saw it last week that I forgot to look up and look at the progress of Shand House.
What they hell were they thinking of? Where is the council in allowing that to happen?
Anyone know who the archiect is? Just to make sure I don't use them myself!
This is one we know of!
and this one too!
I'm not sure when this happened, but as part of the update at Cardiff Royal Infirmary a stretch of the old wall along Newport Road has been removed giving views of the buildings and a small courtyard with planting. I'm not sure if it makes the views from the hospital any better looking out on all those cars driving by, but it does improve the vista for the route into town for those passing by.
CARDIFFWALESMAP - FORUM