Studio tutors: Amanda Spence, Rob Thomas

City Road in the Roath area of Cardiff stretches from the old Royal Infirmary at its junction with City Road in the south, up to the five-way junction with Albany Road, Mackintosh Place, Crwys Road and Richmond Road – known as Death Junction – to the north. The bustling street is one of the most diverse and multicultural in Cardiff. It has a long and fascinating history, and has been constantly in a state of evolution since its early days as a dirt track through farmland marking the edge of the city.

A youth centre will enable a large group of people to share activities with each other and the wider community. In addition to providing a welcoming, secure and inspirational environment that extends beyond the walls of the building, students will be challenged with considering factors such as education and life skills, commercial sustainability and low / zero carbon construction and operation.

Plasnewydd Youth Centre

A community village focused on the multicultural Youth of Plasnewydd, Cardiff, a hub for social interaction and support. The scheme embodies social responsibility as a moral stance by bringing together a series of spaces advancing one’s self-understanding parallel to establishing relations within the community—a bottom-up approach towards both community cohesion and social transformation.

The scheme manipulates scale and circulation to create a street typology focusing and orienting self-growth spaces – derived from individual cores, physical and mental health, towards social activities. Hence, Sports and physical activity, are tools of growth buried within thresholds of creation and self-learning. Each block, a hut isolated in its place, is a subtle layer of increased privacy and space relations, a hierarchy of importance, and protection of the cores.

The centre sound and stable in its context -expressed through form and materials, reflect the necessary equipment needed in the understanding of oneself. A safe foundation to build conflict-free interactions. From a dialogue with space to progressive conversations with people. Reaction to the busy City Road is a vital balance – safety to promote progression within a permeable, non-institutional facility – a “neighbourhood playground.” with the potential to impact the internal working model of individual community members—an inherent affordance in validating and strengthening members.

Work provided by Ahmed Ahmed