Queens West Hotel, Cardiff

Our inter-disciplinary team of architects, planners and heritage consultants worked toegher to provide Mahavir Properties Ltd with a proposal to transform a former shopping centre building, into a new 166 bed hotel with an enhanced retail and leisure offer, within a conservation area. This proposal went on to gain planning permission in April 2021 after a virtual public consultation exercise.

Located within a prominent location in Cardiff City Centre, close to Cardiff Castle and just ten minutes from Cardiff train station, the site currently consists of 11 retail units and a kiosk across a floor area of 11,367sqm. Breathing well deserved new life into the building and area, our architects have transformed the former Queens West shopping centre into an ideally placed hotel with associated café and restaurant facilities. This has seen an increase of the gross internal area to 15,021sqm via a partial conversion within the existing building and a sensitive two-storey roof top extension, taking the building up to five-storeys.

BY BROADENING THE USES, THROUGH A ROOFTOP EXTENSION AND THE RECONFIGURATION OF EXISTING RETAIL, ITS HOPED THAT THAT THE PROPOSAL WILL REVITALISE THE EXISTING BUILDING AND CONTRIBUTE TO THE VIBRANCY OF QUEEN STREET, REINFORCING THE CHARACTER OF THE LOCAL AREA, AND DELIVERING SIGNIFICANT BENEFITS TO THE TOURIST AND LOCAL ECONOMY 

Tom Macklen, Architectural Director

Prior to the building being Queens West shopping centre, its former use was as Marments Department Store (opening in 1879 and closing in 1986) which is reflected in the Grade II Listed inter war classical façade. This saw our architects and heritage experts working closely together to prepare a proposal that reinvigorates the complex and constrained existing building within the Conservation Area, consisting of a range of uses, building heights and different character styles all with a strong historic thread running through.

Project Details

  • Prominent city centre Listed Building
  • Conservation Area
  • Two-storey rooftop extension
  • Sustainable design & fabric first approach
  • 166 new hotel rooms
  • Cafe and restaurant facilities
  • 15,021sqm gross internal area
  • Heritage Statement prepared

Our sensitively considered contemporary design responds to the existing building fabric, retaining the building’s identity. High quality materials are proposed for the additional storey, with predominantly stone cladding to match the tone and texture of the existing building, to ensure the additional element sits in harmony with the parent building. Secondary materials such as copper coloured rainscreen cladding provide a more contemporary edge and vibrance to the proposal.

This is an innovative opportunity for urban intensification and retrofit whilst the building is in use. The scheme will innovatively re-use the existing building and bring it back to life, through both the internal refurbishment and additional new build element. A fabric first approach to the new build extension, and internal refurbishment will improve the existing buildings energy efficiency.

Collaboration has played a vital role in developing the proposals, with our architecture team preparing a proposal which optimised the potential of the hotel rooftop extension alongside structural engineers and the wider project team, whilst input was also gained from potential hotel operators interested in developing the project. This enabled us to develop a range of rooms and facilities that are in line with current standards and trends.

Public consultation took place via a consultation website and no objections were received from the public. The planning application was submitted in December 2020, with a decision expected in March 2021.