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21 December 2009
Cardiff University has lodged plans for a new campus development to give academics the space and facilities to tackle some of the world’s most important research issues.
A masterplan application, outlining the proposed development of University-owned land next to Maindy Road, has just been submitted to Cardiff Council for determination.
If approved, the new campus, to be called Maindy Park, would be primarily research-led. Academic work now requires researchers to work in larger teams, crossing a number of different traditional disciplines. Maindy Park would give some of the University’s existing research groups the space to work together and allow new teams the opportunity to develop new projects.
Another key aspect of the masterplan is public involvement. The site would be accessible, and provide a location for public debate and discussion on the results of the University’s research. The first building planned for the site, provisionally called the Gateway Building, would have space for exhibitions, demonstrations and talks.
The concept behind the proposed new campus is of a parkland development. Buildings would be constructed around central atria, making maximum use of natural light and ventilation. They would be built to the highest "excellent" standard under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). The buildings would be linked by a series of squares and piazzas in a landscaped setting, allowing networking and ideas-sharing.
The site would also help attract the next generation of world-leading researchers to Cardiff University. There would be facilities for postgraduate researchers and plans for the Gateway Building include a Centre to help researchers develop their skills.
The land for the proposed development is 8.9 acres in size, just to the North of the University’s new School of Optometry on Maindy Road. Presently disused former industrial space, the proposals would also help regenerate a major site within central Cardiff. In total, the masterplan is applying for 60,000 square metres of space in several buildings to be phased over the next 15 to 20 years. It forms part of the University’s wider "Campus Horizons" programme of capital development, which has been supported by funding from the Welsh and UK governments.
The masterplan was developed with Cardiff-based planning associates Powell Dobson. A series of public consultations have been held with residents in the Maindy Road area to keep them informed of the plans. Cardiff Council’s decision on the masterplan is expected in the New Year. The University hopes to makes further announcements, including the first research institutes which would occupy the Gateway Building, in the New Year.
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.
Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.
Visit the University website at: www.cardiff.ac.uk
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