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Waterway Research and Education Centre

Part 1 Project 2022
Aneurin James
University of Wales Trinity Saint David Swansea | UK
The project is a Waterway Research and Education Centre situated adjacent to the River Taff in Pontypridd in the South Wales Valleys. Pontypridd is a town that has a rich history and heritage, with an industrial past. This proposal seeks to capture the historic spirit of this industrial town by the introduction of a new industrial process and public building.

Purifying River water is the primary function of the building. A purification process that is showcased step by step by tanks that are suspended within a central atrium. Flanking the atrium are two blocks that are clearly defined in terms of massing and function. The first - an educational block used for public visits and university study, the second - a work-based facility occupied by laboratories to test watercourse samples.

Whereas former industrial processes in South Wales were characterised by pollution and desecration of the landscape, this new building is routed in a process that seeks to purify and redeem. The materials of which the building is constructed also carry forward an ideology and language of sustainability. The building is timber framed, embracing a ‘fabric first’ approach. It is clad in hemp render and cedar cladding.

Aneurin James


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