New Life For Old College In Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth Old College

New Life For Old College In Aberystwyth

Work has started on site to transform Old College in Aberystwyth into a vibrant cultural and creative centre for Wales. Lawray Architects is leading the multi-disciplinary team which includes Austin-Smith:Lord (Conservation Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture), Hoare Lee (MEP) and Mann Williams (Structural and Civil Engineering).

The distinctive and architecturally significant 19th century building was the birthplace of the University of Wales. Detailed proposals will see the Grade I listed building and the adjacent Grade II listed villas transformed from an underused teaching facility into an exhibition centre, a place of learning and discovery, and a hub for creative business start-ups.

Principal contractor Andrew Scott Ltd has started the first phase of work that will see the Grade II listed Georgian Villas on the seafront restored and completely refurbished.

Further phases will follow with the construction of a new atrium space including a multi-use foyer with new entrances that will create a sense of arrival and provide access to the main spaces, linking the seven floors of Old College via the new stairs and lifts. The new cultural centre will be supported with a 4* boutique hotel, conference facilities, wedding and event spaces and a cantilevered function room over the villas.

For the first time in its history the building will be accessible to all and will offer inspiring new shared facilities and resources for the local and academic communities, and visitors from around the world.

Backed by the Welsh Government, Old College is one of the most ambitious educational, heritage, cultural and community projects in Wales.  The project has been awarded £11.1m by the National Lottery Heritage Fund along with funding from Welsh Government, the European Regional Development Fund, The National Lottery Community Fund, the Coastal Communities Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, the Joy Welch Educational Charitable Trust, the Foyle Foundation, the Gwendoline and Margaret Davies Charity and individual donations.

In all, the redevelopment will provide spaces for activities and events across seven floors and 143 rooms, including 10 rooms with capacity ranging from 60 up to 220 people, and is expected to attract 200,000 visitors annually putting it on par with major tourist destinations in Wales.


Client: University of Aberystwyth

Lead Consultant: Lawray Architects

Principal Designer: Lawray CDM

Conservation Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture: Austin-Smith:Lord

 MEP / Acoustics / Fire: Hoare Lea

QS / Project Manager: Blake Morgan

Planning Consultant: Asbri Planning

Design and Exhibition Consultants: Mather & Co