Hacer Developments is pleased to announce that we have commenced a planning application process for the proposed Biophilic Living and mixed-use redevelopment project in Swansea City Centre.
The biophilic design promotes a relationship to nature throughout the project, including roof-top garden amenity space, living walls, balcony planters for each apartment, and greenhouses incorporating a vertical farm utilising aquaponics.
The philosophy of the project is to encourage community engagement and reconnect building users and visitors with nature in the urban environment. The longer-term goal is to change peoples’ perception of urban living, and to monitor the health and well-being benefits of living alongside nature.
Hacer along with their design team and partners, have been working on the regeneration proposals, which have evolved to include innovative features aimed at addressing a number of global issues, including the climate emergency, as well as social issues such as the decline in communities and the effects of loneliness in society.
The driver for the innovation was the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme, which has allowed Hacer and their team to widen the standard parameters of building design and re-think how we work and live in the urban environment.
“We have consulted extensively and met some incredible people along the journey and have realised the wealth of knowledge and expertise that exists in Swansea and Wales in general. It’s an exciting project which we hope will change perceptions and act as a model for future developments,” said Carwyn Davies, director.
The team consists of primarily local designers and partners, including Powell Dobson Architects, who have been fundamental in the evolution of the design concept, and Swansea University Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research, who are world leaders on aquatic technologies and welfare.
The project adopts a mixed-use strategy, aimed to promote people movement throughout day and night-time to bring life back into the city. In addition to the building redevelopment, the proposals include the creation of a new public square in Picton Yard, which will be an adaptable event space manged by the Local Authority, including ‘tulip’ canopies that will create an all-weather space.
The construction works include the redevelopment of an existing 4-storey commercial building with additional floors and a new 12-storey mixed-use tower to the rear. The regenerated building will provide circa 20,000 sq ft of retail space , 2,000 sq ft of Food & Beverage, 22,000 sq ft of commercial office space and 44 residential units. The roof top greenhouses will be run by a newly formed Community Interest Company, which will allow tenants and building users, along with the wider community, to grow vegetables and plants cooperatively. The facility will also be used as an educational resource and as a research centre by Swansea University.
Hacer would like to acknowledge our thanks to the Local Authority, who have been hugely supportive of the scheme and with whom we are working closely to ensure we meet our targets.
We are looking forward to delivering, what we hope to be the first of many similar projects.