Top architects chosen for £23m maths and computer science centre

27 September 2017

This year's National Eisteddfod architecture gold medal winners are teaming up with a renowned international practice to create a £23m centre of excellence for Cardiff University.

Stride Treglown Architects will work with Adjaye Associates, founded by Sir David Adjaye OBE, to create a joint home for the School of Mathematics and School of Computer Science & Informatics. In April this year Sir David was named as the world’s most influential architect by Time magazine and featured in their 100 most influential people of 2017.

The two Schools are currently housed in separate locations so the new facility will bring them together. The exact location is to be decided.

Benefits include purpose-built, world-leading facilities for students and staff, a creative environment for high-impact joint research between the two Schools, and the opportunity to devise innovative new study programmes.

Design and consultancy firm Arcadis has been chosen to lead the design and construction of the 10,000sq m facility, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

Biggest campus upgrade for a generation

The new centre is part of Cardiff University’s biggest campus upgrade for a generation – a £600m investment in its future.

The University is creating a £300m Innovation Campus, spending £260m on its student experience, and investing £40m in initiatives to promote growth in the economy and industry.

Professor Rudolf Allemann, Pro Vice-Chancellor, College of Physical Sciences & Engineering, said: “This is a unique opportunity to provide state-of-the-art facilities for our students and staff...”

“Locating both Schools in the same centre of excellence will provide opportunities for greater collaboration and world-leading research, as well as the provision of new study programmes that will enhance the student experience and improve employment prospects.”

Professor Rudolf Allemann, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Physical Sciences and Engineering

Professor Tim Phillips, Head of the School of Mathematics, said: “The new building housing the Schools of Mathematics and Computer Science & Informatics will provide an outstanding home for the two disciplines near the centre of the University campus.

“The co-location of the two Schools will create an academic environment capable of supporting innovative teaching and high-impact interdisciplinary research...”

“It will also facilitate the initiation of new research groupings at the interface between the two disciplines.”

Professor Tim Phillips, Head of School, Mathematics

Professor Stuart Allen, Head of the School of Computer Science & Informatics, said: “Fostering interaction between students and staff across the two disciplines will be central to the ethos and design of the new building.

“Co-location will allow us to attract and retain a vibrant inter-disciplinary research community to tackle key research challenges in artificial intelligence, security and data science...”

“The bespoke teaching and learning environment will enhance the opportunities for students to work with experts from both disciplines to develop the problem solving skills required by industry.”

Professor Stuart Allen, Head of School, Computer Science and Informatics

“Empowering spaces for education, community and learning”

Adjaye Associates, with offices in London and New York, have worked on several high-profile international projects including Moscow School of Management, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC and the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art.

Lucy Tilley, Associate Director of UK & Global Projects at Adjaye Associates, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to create a dynamic platform for inter-disciplinary collaboration, research and innovation. Creating empowering spaces for education, community and learning has always been at the heart of what we do.”

Stride Treglown Architects, designers of innovative education buildings such as Bristol Business School at UWE Bristol and the National Composites Centre, has offices around the UK including in Cardiff.

Image of large letters spelling out Eisteddfod

The practice won this year’s National Eisteddfod Gold Medal for Architecture for Ysgol Bae Baglan, its new ‘super school’ in Port Talbot.

Pierre Wassenaar, Director at Stride Treglown, said: “We are natural collaborators, and it seems particularly appropriate that a building that will bring together two schools for the first time will be designed in partnership by two practices.”

Arcadis in the UK works with organisations across many sectors and its portfolio includes project management of the £1bn Manchester Airport transformation and lead design role on the £1bn London Bridge Station project.

Steven Jenkins, Higher Education Lead at Arcadis, said: “Cardiff University is one of the UK’s leading higher education institutions and, with some ambitious plans for expansion over the coming years, delivering this new centre of excellence is going to be a major step towards helping the University meet its goals.”

Share this story

Architects visuals of the new Centre for Student Life surrounded by trees

Campus developments

We're undertaking our biggest campus upgrade for a generation - a £600m investment in our future.