Cardiff University Innovation Campus Building, Higher Education Architecture Wales, Project

Cardiff University Innovation Campus

New Welsh Higher Education Building: Architecture design by Hawkins\Brown ; HOK ; BDP ; DPP, Architects

Design: Hawkins\Brown ; HOK ; BDP ; DPP

Cardiff University Innovation Campus Building News

Go ahead for Innovation Campus

Cardiff University Innovation Campus

14 Nov 2016

Cardiff University Innovation Campus in Wales

Science and Innovation centres approved by planners

14 November 2016 – The latest phase of Cardiff University’s £300m Innovation Campus has been approved by city planners.

Two new buildings will bring researchers, businesses, public sector backers and students together to unlock ideas that drive economic growth.

They will forge processes that create technological innovations, spin-out companies, partnerships and new products and services.

Cardiff City Council’s consent paves the way for a development which brings benefits for all, from cafes and creative areas to public open spaces.

The fully-funded £135m project on the city’s brownfield Maindy Park is the latest phase in Cardiff’s mission to embed innovation in University life.

Cardiff University Innovation Campus

Architecture practices Hawkins\Brown and HOK each designed a building for the project, working alongside site masterplanners BDP and town planning consultancy DPP.

The campus vision, outlined two years ago by Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan, establishes centres of excellence that push benefits back into the economy to create a self-sustaining cycle for growth.

Cardiff University Innovation Campus

Professor Riordan said: “A new campus helps us create opportunities for all. Cutting-edge research, technology transfer, business development and student enterprise will put ideas to work.

“Our innovation ambitions go beyond the sum of the physical buildings. We are hiring internationally-renowned academics who can build world-class teams of post-doctoral researchers. We are equipping students with the skills they’ll need to set up future ventures. And we’re continuing to attract major UK and international funding across private and public sectors to make Cardiff the home of innovation.”

Cardiff University Innovation Campus

The Campus will host a range of facilities geared to innovation:

• The Institute for Compound Semiconductors – a unique UK-based translational research centre in compound semiconductors;

• Cardiff Catalysis Institute, featuring a state-of-the-art catalysis facility to support Cardiff’s leading research in chemical sciences;

• SPARK, the world’s first social science research park where academics work with private, public and third sectors to design and test solutions to societal problems;

• The Innovation Centre – a creative base for start-ups, working in partnership with the Medicentre, a clinical innovation incubator based at Heath Park.

Cardiff University Innovation Campus

Featuring an event space, restaurant, and a flowing staircase, Innovation Central’s public areas will connect researchers with the local community, creating social interaction, recreation space, alfresco dining, and exhibition and events space with research potential.

Lettable office and lab space will be available to ventures – from small start-ups through to major corporates – who want to work directly with one of the UK’s leading research Universities.

The Campus is the third phase of development at Maindy Park following the Hadyn Ellis Building, opened in 2013, and Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, opened by Her Majesty The Queen in June.

In addition to two new buildings, each covering 12,000 sq m, this latest third phase includes a bridge linking Cardiff Business School with the Innovation Campus.

Film on YouTube

Oliver Milton, partner at Hawkins\Brown, said: “The Innovation Central Building is a really exciting project. In generating our design, we worked closely with Cardiff University to develop new models for space use and the integration of industrial partnerships and collaboration in an HE context.

“This has resulted in a very clear design with interactive working spaces organised around a central ‘Oculus’ that connects the seven storeys. Shared facilities include a Ted-ex style event space and a fabrication lab to trial new manufacturing technologies.”

Adrian Gainer, Regional Leader for HOK’s Science + Technology group, added: “We look forward to creating cutting-edge facilities that will reinforce the university’s international reputation as a leading catalysis research centre and build on its strengths in the development of semiconductor devices and materials.

“Both the Institute for Compound Semiconductors and the Cardiff Catalysis Institute have been designed to enable multidisciplinary research to flourish, with inspiring spaces to attract and retain the most talented individuals.”

Cardiff University Innovation Campus

Martin Jones, BDP, said: “The Campus fulfils a number of aspirations for Cardiff University and aims to facilitate world-leading scientific research, inter-disciplinary mixing and increase student opportunities in an environment that’s better for business.”

Gareth Hooper, DPP, added: “We worked very closely with the University and Cardiff Council to ensure that this exciting scheme could be delivered within an outline planning consent dating back to 2010. The result is the continuation of an exciting regeneration project, delivering physical change to the city through world-leading science.”

Cardiff University hopes to start work on site early in 2017.




Useful Links:

Cardiff University:

Institute for Compound Semiconductors:

Cardiff Catalysis Institute:


Innovation Centre:

Hawkins Brown:




Cardiff University Innovation Campus images / information from Cardiff University

Location: Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK

Welsh Architecture

Welsh Architecture Designs – chronological list

Cardiff Architecture News

Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre
Design: IBI Group, Architects
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre
image from architect
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre

Hadyn Ellis Building Cardiff University, South Wales
Design: IBI Nightingale
Hadyn Ellis Building Cardiff

Welsh Architecture – Selection

National Assembly for Wales
Design: Richard Rogers Partnership
National Assembly for Wales

Welsh Architects Practices

Comments / photos for the Cardiff University Innovation Campus Architecture page welcome