Taff Vale Community Arts Centre

The proposal for a new cultural centre in Pontypridd provides a much-needed cultural hub for the town, including a theatre, cinema, and studio space, as well as creating a new public realm that can strengthen and integrate the new and existing communities.

Image of a collage to show the theatrical nature of Pontypridd

Performative Collage

The feeling of community pride and heritage, so potent in the town, is explored here. The collage represents the tight-knit nature of the community and the pride they take in local achievements, as well as depicting significant figures from the town’s history, both past and present.

The challenge was to relate my proposal to the surrounding historical buildings and to create a centre that could connect with the community.

Image showing a site plan and proposed changes

Masterplan for Future Development

Image showing two sections of the exterior of the theatre within the context

Relationship Between the Proposal and Existing Town Buildings

The organisation of the streets in the 1910s is used as the basis for development that could include further community facilities in the future. By using this street geometry, the large area of site can be broken down and more easily connected to the town.

The final masterplan consists of a highly pedestrianised urban fabric and a generous expanse of public space. The pedestrianisation of surrounding streets is also suggested, to improve connections between the site and the rest of town.

The proposal aims to reconnect and enliven the important historical landmarks as fundamental parts of the community. With its traditional brick colonnade and seemingly masonry structure, the centre stands as a place to celebrate the town’s rich culture. Behind its solid brick skin, is an entirely different public space. The exposed steel structure highlights the flexibility and dynamism of the building, as well as providing support to facilitate various large, open spaces. Hanging fabric, mesh inlaid glazing and polycarbonate partitions, reminiscent of the traditional theatre curtain, are used to manipulate the abundance of light available on site and create dramatic and varying moments throughout the building.

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Work provided by Kate Urwin

Email Id: UrwinK@cardiff.ac.uk