Group Board Director Neil MacOmish showcases Cardiff Pointe at RIBA/RSAW Conference


Scott Brownrigg Group Board Director Neil MacOmish, who leads the practice’s award-winning Cardiff office presented at last week’s RIBA/RSAW Annual Conference “The place of home”.

With housing firmly back on the political agenda, the need to provide high quality, warm, secure and energy smart homes for a growing (and ageing) population is critical. However a home is not just an efficient housing unit, a 'place' is more than a convenient location. The two-day conference focussed on the need for regeneration and strategic planning to recognise the importance of the complex and nuanced ideas of 'home' and 'place' in creating vibrant and viable communities.

During the Inspiration Hour session, Neil presented on “Tales from the Bay”, focusing on Scott Brownrigg’s high profile scheme for Cardiff Pointe. The scheme was considered to be one of two (along with Loyn & Co’s new scheme for Igloo in Roath Basin) progressive, quality-led residential developments that was worthy of inclusion.

Neil highlighted how the Cardiff Bay scheme demonstrates an appropriate urban proposal and a contemporary architectural language that has been generally absent in housing the Bay. The scheme shows how individual house can be “read” as supporting background street architecture yet also be part of the same compositional treatment as the proposed apartment blocks, which act as “accents” or nodes within the new spatial organisation.

A number of the house types contain all of their private amenity space within their own footprint, yet still create spaces both internally that are meaningful and add a quality to the character of the house.

The very simple urban design principles of street, square and landmark are augmented by a hierarchy of road, mews and public realm. These are intended to make places and spaces that are delightful, desirable and sustainable, where people will want to live. The framework of development also ensures an urban legibility through the design principles developed above – orientation and a sense of place (genius loci) is enhanced by constant reference to the water on both sides of the site as well as the two towers which “tip their toes” into the waters of the bay, even from within the heart of the overall development.  
Neil shared the stage with Alison Brooks Associates, Housing Architect of the Year 2012 and shortlisted for this year’s  Stirling Prize.

The RSAW Conference is part of a programme of linked events during November exploring themes of integrated and sustainable regeneration, sustainability and wellbeing in Wales.