The value unit is embedded in a long-term partnership between Cardiff University’s 'Community Gateway', and individuals and groups in Grangetown, Cardiff. Over the last ten years, WSA student research and proposals have contributed to a process of redeveloping the Grange Pavilion as a community owned and managed civic space under a 99-year Community Asset Transfer. As construction completed and use of the building began, the 21-22 value unit focused on questions of post-occupancy by considering the ongoing role of the architect in the long term use of a civic space.
We began by spending the primer phase in the Grange Pavilion, measuring and observing how the Grange Pavilion works, socially, and environmentally. The unit measured patterns of occupancy, light, heat, recorded activities, ran a community engagement survey, interviews, and an online workshop, and calculated the social value generated by the pavilion. Themes emerging from the post-occupancy studies – feelings of safety, acoustics, incidental use, waste and reuse, connectivity, accessibility, community voice, and biodiversity – set out the values pursued by individual theses.
These values were applied to existing civic spaces in Cardiff, which were identified as facing challenges and presenting opportunities over the next 99 years in response to projections of changing patterns of use and the impact of climatic changes in Cardiff. The processes adopted by each thesis explored how underpinning unit values – a commitment to co-production, expanded definitions of inclusion, adaptive re-use and shaped understandings of the role of the architect in defining long-term value.