SA1 Waterfront Innovation Quarter Phase 1

  • Location

    Swansea

  • Client

    University of Wales Trinity St David

  • Value

    £30m

  • Completion

    2018

Breaking down educational silos to create a new ecology of learning

Together with the University, we have created a learning environment in the SA1 Innovation Quarter that breaks down educational silos and creates a new ecology of learning where students understand the space between the disciplines.

Phase 1 of the £400m mixed-use regeneration programme is made up of IQ, a new faculty building comprising Applied Computing, Automotive Engineering, Architecture, Built and Natural Environments and Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics; a new campus library along with the Construction Wales Innovation Centre and all associated public realm works.

The architectural style of the buildings responds to the industrial character of Swansea docks, with hard red brickwork and a powerful rhythm of arched openings at ground level and grouped fenestration above.

The buildings have been designed in line with the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015. We targeted two areas: ‘Research and Critical Problem Solving’ and ‘Skills and Work-based Learning’.

We collaborated with students from the University’s Applied Arts faculty and integrated post-graduate glass specialists into the project to develop heat-fused recycled glass technologies for application on elements such as the reception desk.

The layout of the multi-faculty building is structured around common and shared spaces such as the learning commons and construction lab.

The learning environment is geared to ensuring students end up with hands-on skills. There are no tiered lecture halls. Instead students group together in open-plan rooms where they are overseen by an academic.