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Creating the BBC's new state-of-the-art centre of excellence for drama on a brown field site in Cardiff was the challenge presented to FAT Architects and Holder Mathias. To do so cost effectively and in an environmentally efficient way, whilst creating a 250m long office block, 8 studios and outdoor filming spaces, required imagination and technical knowhow.

The building’s use, coupled with the available plot and budgets, meant that a modern warehouse construction would meet the criteria, albeit with an additional challenge of creating something unique. FAT Architecture’s solution was the addition of a rather playful principal elevation.

One problem typical of many warehouse constructions is the penetration of external noise, especially that created by heavy rain. As the production home to Doctor Who, Casualty and the BBC’s Welsh language drama, Pobol y Cwm, it was clearly inconceivable that studio production could be halted every time the weather turned for the worse.

Euroclad’s technical team had recognised this and knew the solution, using their own proven technology. Contrary to popular beliefs, the sound insulating nature of metal built-up systems is outstanding, with very effective sound reduction, including the elimination rain noise.

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Project details

Working with FAT architecture, Euroclad proposed the Elite System 3A, featuring the secret fix roof profile, mineral wool insulation and a special internal lining. This specification was able to achieve attenuation better than 50db and excellent acoustic performance was only part of the design brief; this needed to be coupled with measureable environmental credibility. Helped by Euroclad’s clear Cradle to Cradle environmental policy, BBC Roath is the first industrial building in the UK to be given a Breeam Outstanding certificate for its green credentials, the highest possible environmental rating.

Speaking ahead of the official opening, Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones AM commented, "The creative industries, from TV, film and theatre are of major importance to our economy, supporting jobs and investment and the Welsh government is determined for this to continue. BBC Cymru Wales’ Roath Lock is a symbol of what Wales can achieve and the bright future we have ahead of us."


Location Cardiff
Architect FAT Architecture & Holder Mathias
Installer Sharkey & Company
System SF500
Material Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra®
Colours Goosewing Grey

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