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Foster + Partners submits Cardiff bus interchange scheme

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Foster + Partners has lodged plans for a 45,000m² mixed-used housing, office and transport interchange development in Cardiff city centre

The scheme will include 195 flats, 12,000m² of office space, a 227-space car park and 502 bicycle spaces, and is being billed as ‘an integral part’ of the wider Central Square regeneration area, which the practice is also masterplanning.

The 3,600m² transport interchange will sit on the Marland House/NCP car park site to the north of Cardiff Central Railway Station and Saunders Road. The facility will include 14 bus stands and a 24-hour section serving national coaches. 

The AJ100 chart-topping company topped a list of big names to land the commission in June last year following an invited design competition run by Central Square developer, Rightacres Property.

Construction work has already begun on the nearby Foster-designed £100 million headquarters for BBC Wales, the flagship scheme within the Central Square area.

The whole development is Foster + Partners’ largest in the UK outside of London, and is being delivered by a 20-strong team at the practice.

Speaking about the interchange scheme, senior executive partner at the practice Gerard Evenden said: ‘In the past you would arrive in Cardiff at this wind-swept, polluted gateway site. It was terrible.’  

‘So this project is significant for both Cardiff and for Wales in terms of its image to the rest of the world. It will also make the whole experience of going from [the station to the Millennium Stadium] to see the rugby better.’

Evenden said the submitted designs included a proposed canopy which could, in the future, be extended to link the bus terminus with the railway station. He also admitted that the initial concepts for the interchange and the ‘floating’ buildings above had altered from the original designs (pictured left below).

Foster collage

‘The scheme has matured into a very clear diagram,’ he said. ‘We have persuaded [the developer] to build less, because of both the limit of the market and to reduce its bulk. We didn’t want these buildings overshadowing anything.’   

If approved, work is expected to begin in June next year.

Project data

Client Rightacres Property
Architect Foster + Partners
Landscape architect Hyland Edgar Driver
Planning consultant Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners
Structural engineer Arup
M&E consultant Arup
Quantity surveyor ChandlerKBS
Main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine
Funding Private
Tender date Not applicable
Start on site date Commenced demolition September 2016
Construction starts June 2017
Completion date April 2020
Gross internal floor area 45,000m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Novated to main contractor/Design and Build

Plan the interchange foster and partners cardiff

Plan the interchange foster and partners cardiff

View the planning application here 

Previous story (AJ 15.04.14)

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Previous story (AJ 20.02.14)

C20 Society backs calls to list BBC Wales HQ


  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • The concourse for the two bus stances at the right hand end is separate, this presumably being the 24-hour section for long distance coaches (National Express or whatever).
    This leaves just 12 stances for other buses – which seems rather meagre for a city the size of Cardiff, unless it's just for out-of-town rather than city routes – raising the question of whether this really is an effective bus interchange, or just the result of a property deal making just the bare minimum provision for public transport.
    By way of contrast, the Glasgow city centre bus terminal has 57 stances, the majority of which seem to be in frequent use.

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