A very large chunk of the external render on Celestia came right off last night in the wind and rain - approximately 10m by 3m -I'll try and post a picture later.
These recently built cheaply rendered developments could prove to be ticking time bombs over the coming years. The authorities may well be forced to act on public safety grounds and demand the owners pay for safety checks /additional building works should further instances occur.
As far as I can see there is a layer of polystyrene foam and then a render all just glued on. If so they are almost guaranteed not to last. I'm sure that Horizon is like that: none of the workmen seem to use drills and screws. The windows are just clipped into metal frames which were also just clipped in.
Surely this is just damage from the extreme weather conditions we've been having lately, look at the news there is all sorts of damage occurring across the country. This part of the building is extremely exposed to the weather, but saying that with such a new development, and Prospect place which had a similar problem, this should not be happening so soon after construction. The people behind the render will be chased to have it replaced by the insurers, the structural fabric of the building has not been compromised.
I don't think any of us would call Celestia a 'luxury' development - it was always the worst of the bunch. Some of the developments are high quality though - Century Wharf stands out as having high build quality, large-ish apartments and seemingly premier prices.
With all the wind, and the rain, and the traumatic weather, I'm not surprised that this has happened.
BTW - I love today's header image. I makes Churchill Way seem almost like it's part of Chicago.
Most of the "luxury" flat blocks down the bay are a sack of shite. People paying premium prices are just being sucked in by the property developers marketing. As the investors fail to rent them out, they increasingly rent to social housing, this causes the owner occupiers to move out and new buyers discouraged from buying.
They will all be ghettos in the end like the tower blocks of the 60s
I'm sorry Paulo - that's the kind of sweeping statement made by Dic Mortimer that takes things over the top. Presently, lettings in most bay developments remain strong and most advertised are "no DSS" (in large part because the rents for these are above the levels which DWP will pay). And there are big differences between developments. Some are going downmarket - Celestia. Others are holding up - e.g. Century Wharf.
Can't we just avoid hyperbole? I miss the more detailed and nuanced discussions we used to have on this forum - and on Forward Cardiff -, and instead, we now have trolls and sweeping statements.
I standby what I said. It's not hyperbole, I'm serious.
Century Wharf is not high quality! They look like student blocks only smaller inside. The build quality is shocking as are the fixtures and fittings internally! Developers have packed the maximum in here for maximum profit, it truly is an awful development. Oh but hang on it does have a crappy pool...
Notice I said most. There are some nice quality developments, namely Victoria Wharf (although it is isolated and even here the render is looking crap now) and some of the older developments such as "spillers and bakers" and those along Atlantic Wharf and Lacuna. In general though - poor quality cheap dross that will age badly.
Serious question, how many of your friends have rented "down the bay" and ended up settling there permanently? How high do you think the turn over of tenants are in these developments?
Alot of what is said above is truley ill educated and untrue based on asumption and ignorance. I live in Celestia,and while biased i can say the quality is of a much better standard than other develoments. For instance all public corridors have thick carpets as apposed to the thin and cheap carpet tiles that are prevalent in other developments, with a rolling program of painting all the corridoors, regular carpet celaning and maintennace which is not so frequent in other developments. The kitchens and bathrooms all come from Italy as aposed to some shocking ones ive seen in other develoments. The floors are real solid wood and the main bathrooms are tiled with limestone. Those who claim Celestia is not a high quality development must not have been inside it, or had access to the communal areas. The apartments are of a decent size with good built in storage and often great views. I know many people who live in the development and they absolutely love living there as do I, the people you meet are often very friendly and say hello whenever you see them, i havent seen anyone who i would class as undersirable walking around the development and i even recieve christmas cards from my neighbours. What i have also seen is people who rent in the development move within it when their rent expires rather than move to other developments, with a few i know buying here. Its close to Mermaid Quay and all the attraction of the inner harbour, without being too close to be disturbed by them, also watching the ships coming in and out of the harbour from your living room is an amazing experiance.
Also holding up Century Wharf as a beacon of apartment living in Cardiff is rediculous as it was one of the least attractive developments when i was looking to buy.
I based my comments on looking at rental and sales prices where earlier phases of century wharf are higher than most developments which is particularly surprising given its riverside rather than bayside location. I've hypothesised this is due to square footage (a few I've looked at have been relatively large) and perhaps it's relatively attractive landscaped areas. Celestia did not have such a premium so might offer 'good value' for its internal fitting quality. I think it is hard to argue that external design and finish is good though - everything from its relation to the dock, the street, to the render.
The census data is probably best way to gauge how the area is doing (or was back in 2011).
I though Celestia did have attractive elements to its design, the contrast of the wood with the white render, the sleek lines of the windows and wooden sections, and the main towers are not bad looking either. I agree the interaction with the streetscape is poor due to under-croft parking but then this part of the bay is hardly a magnet for businesses or retail! As for interaction with the dock i think the fact they managed to get so many apartments with direct water views (rather than side views) is a success. I understand as a non resident you cant see how the things you think are negative are actually a positive for living in the development (under-croft parking on frosty mornings and rainy days, closed off residents piazza etc.). Century wharf has very poor streetscapes of roads with shrubbery either side, an unfinished, unused poorly maintained riverside path that goes nowhere and most of the apartments are inward facing and those with outside space are terribly overlooked, with baloncies looking not just over the river but also the council estate opposite. One apartment i saw had a larger outside space than internal and was clad with very cheap looking concrete slabs, with the internal square footage large but mostly comprised of an awkward corridor. Also when viewing an apartment in the largest tower the walk across the public "piazza" was reminiscent of a 60's shopping center as opposed to Celestias which is grassed, has different areas and large pieces of art that reflect the area. the worst part of Century Wharf for me is its location on Dumballs road, you have to walk past the most deprived parts of Cardiff to get anywhere!
Just to mention as well to put this in context, Mill Lane was closed off last night because a piece of the Library became loose. Saying this i don't like the white render as it does get dirty quickly and doesn't have a high quality finish to it, but i do like the matte white colour.
A quick look on Zoopla shows apartments are more expensive to rent in Celestia than Century wharf as well.
Also there are just 3 properties for sale in Celestia whereas there are quite a few for sale in Century wharf.
RandomComment - I'd say Celestia was marketed as being the more exclusive of the two and the heir to the Altolusso hype. 'Seramico' glass door knobs, underfloor heating, Smeg kitchens, and private landscaped gardens featured heavily in the marketing, whereas Century Wharf seemed to be more focussed on the novelty of gates and the freebies you got with it like the gym and swimming pool. Design wise I think they're both awful, but I think internally Celestia is probably of a much higher standard.
Cardiff - could you possibly shed some light on the 'internal' balconies of the tallest block facing towards the lightship. If I remember rightly, the apartments in this block were the most expensive, and yet on Rightmove those balconies seem incredibly dingy, are often covered in some kind of anti bird netting, and stop any light whatsoever from penetrating the apartment itself. Am I missing something?
I haven't been in one but have seen many pictures of them. They do appear quite dark due to the enclosed nature of the balconies, but having lived on that side of the building you get the sun from around mid day to when it sets; in the summer it made living in our apartment almost unbearable because there was no shade, and with floor to ceiling windows it got unbearably hot in there as we couldn't open our window to catch the wind (if it faced the other direction it would have been better and the restrictors didn't let it open that far). We were seriously considering getting an air conditioner and many have done. So although they seem dark, this is welcome shade on balconies that are in the sun ALL day. The views from the top of the towers are spectacular over the bay, Roath dock and Bristol channel. Speaking to people who live there they love it for the same reasons we do, the close proximity to the inner harbour attractions and events, but being shielded from the noise by Assembly Squares buildings, and its just a 25 minute walk to the center of town, or a nice boat trip from Mermaid Quay or a nice stroll on the Barrage or Wetlands :)
I was basing what I was saying entirely on the external aesthetic. Perhaps inside Celestia is quite nice (according to a few people) and has high quality fixtures and fittings. But it has attracted significant criticism on here for the seeming poor quality of the external finishes, and particularly its interaction with the external environment. The crappy relation to the dock on the Adventurers Quay side, with the walkway often flooded and covered in algae, moss and the like; the strange dingey shelter underneath the main tower; the poor quality metal-work on the docksides; the seemingly cheap rendering; and the odd massing.
And when I checked prices a couple of years ago, I did find those in Century Wharf to be higher (not adjusted for square footage - the first few phases of that had large square footages, and they did shrink substantially in the later phases, particularly Strata).
celestia does suffer from a reputation based on its external appearance and the way it doesn't interact at all with its streetscape. that is not to say those that live there don't see the benefits...years ago I loved living in Adventurers Quay, close to the action and the flats were decent enough. thats not to say I think its a great development that adds much to the feel of the bay - both are very isolated and you don't really have a reason to go there other than to visit
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