The regeneration of Swansea’s old docklands has seen old, dilapidated warehouses and disused yards transformed into exciting mixed-use projects.
Residential, commercial, as well as valuable retail space now occupy the area, collectively known as ‘The Urban Village’.
Construction of the new-build 9-storey residential apartment block by the main contractor R&M Williams, saw RCM engaged as an important supplier.
As well as providing the essential aluminium support frame, RCM also ensured timely delivery of the colourful Swisspearl façade. Each panel was fabricated by RCM to exact specified size, saving precious time on the construction of the building.
If you have ever read up on the history of Swansea in Wales, you will know that The Strand was once the quayside to the town with sailing ships mooring at riverside jetties.
During the 19th century the river was re-routed and its original course was closed-off to become the North Dock. Over time this resulted in The Strand, a well-known Swansea thoroughfare, becoming a degenerated and run-down dockside, with disused warehouses and yards standing empty.
The Coastal Housing Group, which formed in 2008 from a merger between Swansea Housing Association (formed 1978) and Dewi Sant Housing Association (formed 1991) was tasked with regenerating older stock and building new houses to improve the local community and provide good quality affordable homes. 2012 saw the completion of the first phase of a development called ‘Urban Village’, the flagship of the Coastal Housing Group, which is a residentially-led mixed-use regeneration scheme.
It provides new affordable city centre apartments and also includes purposeful workspace environments designed with the creative industries in mind, as part of the development.
Not unlike other urban regeneration projects, the main focus was on retail, food and commercial outlets, as well as apartments and office units. However, on this occasion, Swansea is leading the way with its dedicated use of regenerated space made available exclusively for the creative industries, which is a first for Wales.
The construction of the ‘Creative Cluster’ is a new build development featuring 30,000sqft of commercial and office space situated over 5 floors. It will provide a centre for small start-ups and creative companies. Fashion design, digital film production, broadcast media, publishing and advertising are just some of the benefactors of this scheme.
The architects Holders Mathews’ designed the buildings to respect the character of the area. Making use of the best materials on the market today, they looked to achieve a harmonious, modern and vibrant environment where people want to live and work.
As part of the ‘Urban Village’, a new-built 9-storey apartment block was built by main contractor R & M Williams, which now occupies the site once home to a dilapidated old warehouse.
During its construction, RCM were asked to supply the aluminium support frame and 1,800 sqm of 8mm Swisspearl façade panels from a range of colour families. Each of the panels was cut to specified size at RCM’s warehouses. A great benefit of the offsite fabrication by RCM was the precious time-saving onsite.
A range of Swisspearl façade panels were used. RCM supplied Avera, Carat and Zenor. Swisspearl Avera is a solid-coloured fibre cement panel with a vibrant texture. It has a natural variation in colour tonally, which give it its rich appearance.
The colour of choice for the project was number AV060, which is grey. Swisspearl Carat offers a choice of 27 colours. Colour number 7010 was used on The Strand, which is light grey in colour. Swisspearl Zenor 11006, white, was applied. This façade is a new large-format panel for building envelopes with an emphasis on uncompromising functionality using simple means.
As we all know, buildings come to life with great materials and finishes and the careful application of façade design always creates a lasting impression. The choice of this special façade selection give these apartments a unique and timeless look, and by applying Swisspearl it also ensures long-lasting quality. RCM, for their part, have once again proven themselves a reliable supplier of quality materials and are proud to have played their part in this prestigious scheme in the city of Swansea.