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Glazing systems by Kawneer feature on the new Cardiff and Vale College.

A multi award-winning building dubbed “the future of further education” in Wales features glazed elements by leading architectural aluminium systems supplier Kawneer.

The new £45 million Cardiff and Vale College uses Kawneer's zone-drained AA®100 and AA®110 curtain walling, with 50 and 65mm sightlines respectively, with AA®541 top-hung casement windows and mullion-drained AA®100 curtain walling as a bespoke atrium rooflight.

The 16,000m2 building in the city centre brings together many of the college's activities onto a single campus and creates a real-life environment for skills training with open and welcoming faculty clusters set around a public route through the heart of the college.

Its distinctive wedge shape connects the interior spaces to south-facing terraces with views towards Cardiff Bay. The oversailing roof is angled to accommodate a 1,850m2 photovoltaic array, one of the largest in the UK, and The Classroom - a fine dining sky restaurant located under the northernmost tip with views across the city towards the Millennium Stadium.

The landmark building designed by BDP features 130 teaching rooms including specialist labs, workshops, IT studios and two vast learning and skills centres comprising a conference centre, theatre, gym, Urbasba beauty salon and spa, and shops, all of which are open to the public seven days a week. It is home to 4,000 students studying across 200 different courses with thousands more engaged through the year on short courses, employer training and apprenticeships.

It was officially opened in October 2015 by First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones and Minister for Education and Skills Huw Lewis.

The First Minister said: “This is what the future of further education looks like in Wales. This new city centre campus is truly an inspirational building which will give learners in Wales access to a wide-ranging, flexible curriculum in a world-class learning environment.”

The Education Minister added: 'This is yet another example of the Welsh government investing in exceptional education facilities for our learners. Modern and vibrant, this new college is providing a learning environment for the 21st Century. It will inspire its students while benefiting the local community long into the future.”

Believed to have been the largest construction project in Cardiff at the time, the college was built on former industrial land south of the city's central station by main contractor Willmott Dixon, with the Kawneer elements installed by approved specialist manufacturer and installer AB Glass.

Backed by a £20 million Welsh Government grant, it was formed after the merger of Barry College and Coleg Glan Hafren as part of the government's bid to transform post-16 education and training in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Cardiff and Vale College has won two awards to date - a RIBA Regional Award 2016 and a RICS Regional Award (Design through Innovation) 2016.

To watch the college launch video please go to http://www.cavc.ac.uk/en/contact-us/sites/city-centre-campus/.


Photo: Gareth Gardner

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