Story here about the Motorpoint arena being 20 years old this month. The story is just crappy stories about Eddie Izzard etc, although a couple of kinda interesting pics of the empty site and building in progress.
But it amazes me this is only 20 years old, and yet it seems so dated and underwhelming. I recognise it is successful as a venue, lots of events many of which do well, but as an example of architecture it seems a real mess. And I've seen many on here call for it to be knocked down. It seems crazy that a build of this size, and something that was planned to be high prestige at the time (Cardiff International Arena & Convention Centre 1993–2000), is seen as dated in this way.
Or are we missing an architectual gem that many of us will fight to save if someone planned to knock it down in 10-20 years times? (akin to the debate about the screen/flashy light on St Davids Hall that led to a defence of that building by some).
Personally I don't want to knock it down, but a refurb would be good, especially for the main entrance.
It makes me wonder how the new builds of today will look in 20 years time, and how many of them we will be calling to be knocked down.
I'd say the hotel opposite needs to be pulled down ahead of the CIA. Granted the CIA is poor and it doesn't really interact with any of its surroundings but the hotel is just at such odd angles to the street its makes you wonder what were they thinking of.
in fairness the whole area could do with a revamp, there is little or no streetscape on that side of the road compared to Altolusso and Meridian Gate etc etc.
Yes it does seem older than 20 years. According to the Echo the site was clear in 1989 but the CIA didn't open until 1993 proving that delays in erecting buildings are nothing new to this city.
I sincerely hope it's not there in another 20 years. From a practical point of view I don't think it's fit for purpose anymore. From an aesthetic point of view I really don't think there will be a re-appraisal of it's architectural merits in years to come. It is very much of it's time which from my perspective represented a nadir in Cardiff's build enviroment. The hotel opposite is of a similar vintage (and may even have been built by the same developer who I think were the now long defunct Walker Brothers) and has the same non-existent relationship with the street, the grim brown brickwork and the odd shape.
I genuinely wonder what will happen to it - if a new 15k arena gets built elsewhere (as mooted) what purpose will it serve? Would it continue as an entertainment venue attracting the lower rent acts or be used for alternative purposes? Would the CIA footprint plus Rapports car park be big enough for a convention centre for example?
Now let's just hold on a minute here before we start to criticise.
For a start, the smoked glass look is architecturally timeless, especially when juxtaposed against the mustard render and open cage brutalist style of the wonderful £500,000,000 St David's shopping and car park complex opposite.
On top of that, many, many great artists, who would otherwise have bypassed Cardiff, are regular performers here - eg Beyonce, Westlife, Boyzone, The Quo, Atomic Kitten etc.
And that's before we appraise the merits of the wonderful open plan performance space and hospitality opportunities available inside.
The thought of demolition is no-brainer for me.
I can't understand why a revamped CIA isn't being talked about as the solution to the city's lack of convention centre.
That would make sense James. Even if they knocked it down and rebuilt taking over the rapport site as well. We could have it mixed used with offices and retail built in.
Well, that article certainly makes the CIA look really crap. Well done Wales Online!
Personally I've had some bloody great nights in the CIA: the Arcade Fire, the final LCD Soundsystem tour, Blur on the "Parklife" tour, The Manics touring "Everything Must Go", Radiohead on the "OK Computer" tour.
Sure, the building isn't much to look at, but it's been a big boost to the music scene in Cardiff.
I don't think the CIA is all that ugly. It is what it is. The mirrored windows should be replaced.
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