A Floating Cafe/ Bar along the river in the centre of Cardiff.
The competition aims to promote dialogue with the public and within the professional community as to the role of architecture in the public realm. The competition reveals the unknown spaces of Cardiff.
Whilst local residents have gratefully embraced a newly created bay, the River Taff itself has been largely overlooked despite running through the centre of the Welsh capital.
The design evolves from a floating plane of recycled industrial steel reclaimed from Cardiff docks nearby. The sunken seating area provides the required depression within the river; absence of ‘matter’ creates space and allows the object to float. The vertical steel sides of the seating area fold outwards to provide a perimeter walkway in tension with the waterline, blurring the boundary between man and nature. A centrally positioned service core provides a natural separation between formal & informal dining.
Shelter is provided by a tensile translucent fabric – stretched over a lightweight timber frame. The amount of shelter provided can be controlled by a series of carefully crafted bronze wheels that run along the length of the primary structure ring-beam. This appears to float over the entire platform providing an elegant counterpoint to the steel core.
The terminating sky frame captures an outdoor performance space reinforcing a confident linear form that sits in harmony with the horizontal banks of the River Taff.