Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

New drama centre for BBC Cardiff by FAT


[FIRST LOOK] FAT has submitted plans for a new BBC drama centre at Cardiff Bay, which could proceed on site within months if given the go-ahead by planners

The proposed television production centre will be the first part of a new digital media hub, masterplanned by DEGW, at the 27-acre Roath Basin site, owned by the Welsh Assembly Government. Holder Mathias is also understood to be working on the waterside development.

The 300m-long facade features a decorative precast element of Gothic and space-age quality; a wave motif referring to water, hills and coal; and openings that reference dockside industry, BBC hospital drama Casualty and the architecture of William Burges – according to the developer Igloo Regeneration. The wider scheme also includes a new ‘winged’ bridge by Studio Bednarski.

Menna Richards, director of BBC Cymru Wales, said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to build on the success of BBC Wales drama production and the wider creative industries in Wales.’

She added: ‘We look forward to welcoming the cast and crew of the enormously successful Casualty to this new centre of excellence to work side-by-side with the other award-winning dramas which are already made in Wales’.

The drama centre will allow the BBC to double its television production in Wales by 2016.

Casualty will begin production at Roath Basin in summer 2011.


Project data

Architects: FAT Architects
Location: Cardiff
Type of Project: Drama Production Village
Structural Engineers: Bay Associates
Project Architect: FAT Architects
Client: Igloo Regeneration (General Partner) Ltd
Funding: Igloo Regeneration (General Partner) Ltd (Aviva)
Tender date: 22nd Feb 2010
Start on site date: June 2010
Contract duration: 12 months (circa)
Gross internal floor area: 185,000 sq ft (circa)
Form of contract and/or procurement: JCT 2005 with amendments, Design and Build Two Stage Tende
Total cost: Circa £30m
M&E consultant: RPS Gregory
Project Manager: Davis Langdon
Quantity surveyor: Gardiner and Theobald
Planning supervisor: EC Harris
Main contractor: tbc
Selected subcontractors and suppliers: tbc
Annual co2 emissions: tbc BREAM Excellent


Do you like the look of BBC Roath Basin drama centre by FAT?

View poll results

Readers' comments (22)

  • Nasty

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Doesn't FAT stand for Fashion, Architecture, Taste? I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering when are they going to start delivering on at least one letter of their acronym?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 'Casualty.' They said it. It amazes me how quickly fashions cycle round to the extent that FAT imagine a sorry retread of Stanley Tigerman and Ernst Lohse ca. 1984 has something relevant to say now.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It would have been nice to at least spell William Burges's name correctly if they were going to cite his buildings as a reference point (see last image)...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • *Burges' (I am at fault with my own flaw)...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I hope in years to come designers don't look back at this thinking its ingenious and why did those critical fools not get it, because I'm trying so hard to see it. I envision a decrepit Blackpool promenade facade in 8 years, it offends every principal I hold for good design and design process, but worst of all its reflection offends light and we should stop building stuff that does.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I try to like FAT's work, I really do. Clients come in all shapes and sizes, and we need an architectural culture which reflects this variety. And of course the press needs images to fill space with.

    However, if this is architectural 'wit' then it is firmly of the christmas cracker variety - heard it a million times already, just not amusing any more.

    By now we're used to such tiresome japery from FAT, but what we seldom see is serious journalism which challenges this type of overt cynicism. There is certainly no sign of robust criticism in this article.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • With reference to Noah's mail in particular.

    Is there any evidence that the 'clients' like it anyway?.

    Is there not an element of Emperor's new clothes about this (and other works by different architects) with FAT as the naughty tailors and the BBC as the duped?

    As long as there is publicity for something, especially if it is overblown, then some people will believe it must be good. We have seen this in the art market for a few years now and of course in the great bridgehead between art and architecture, Will RMJM buy out FAT sometime soon?

    Robust criticism has been missing from the mainstream architectural press for as long as I've ever seen it anyway.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • In a way I like FAT they are open about the fact there buildings are decorated sheds. where as many architects pretend to be modernists by dressing there building up in a modernist styled facard. At least FAT can show us that if there is one thing architecture needs it is a new movement one with real substance that really sums up our age. Unfortunately I haven’t got a solution but maybe some you do. We need a name and a ethos and then we can work the architecture from there.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Fatuous Arbitrary Tat - a disgrace to the profession - get them struck off !

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Show 102050results per page

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.