HLM develops pioneering design concept for new Cardiff education campus

Working in collaboration with ISG, ARUP, and Austin Smith Lord, HLM Architects has developed a design concept for a new joint education campus in the Fairwater area of Cardiff, Wales.

Capturing Cardiff Council’s vision, the Fairwater Campus will co-locate Cantonian High School, Woodlands Secondary Additional Learning Needs (ALN) School, and Riverbank Primary ALN School, all onto the existing Cantonian High School site in Fairwater. The development will form a fully inclusive state of the art campus for over 2,000 pupils and staff, which will also offer comprehensive facilities to the wider community outside of school hours.

It will be the largest project delivered under the Cardiff Council and Welsh Governments Band B Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme to date in terms of scale and investment. Leading the way with its sustainability credentials, the project will significantly reduce its embodied carbon during the build stage and, once complete, it will be the city’s first school campus to be operationally net zero carbon. To achieve this, the campus has been designed to be rich in biodiversity and integrate renewable energy sources, to significantly improve energy efficiency.

Gareth Woodfin, Cardiff studio director said:

“Bringing together many pupils and staff onto one site presented challenges and complexities, but our team were able to carefully navigate these to create a design concept that has maximised educational opportunities whilst creating clear zoning for each school, maintaining flexibility and interconnectivity between all three buildings.

As emphasised in our commitment to a more sustainable built environment, we design every project to be as sustainable as possible and our work on Fairwater Campus highlights this promise, creating an environmentally conscious building that aligns with the climate action expectations of all stakeholders.”

Subject to planning and procurement, work on the new campus is expected to begin in 2023.