AFL Architects | Copr Bay
Press enter to search

Copr Bay

← Back to projects

Delivery of this regenerative leisure scheme, Phase 1 of £1 billion of development projects set to transform Swansea city centre.

The full plans for the site include a 3,500-capacity indoor arena, coastal park, plaza, landmark pedestrian bridge, 33 flats, 7 retail units and two multi-storey car parks.

AFL Architects was commissioned at the start of 2019. The practice, taking control of the design at the end of RIBA Stage 3, has been carrying out a full review of the original concept design and are now acting as delivery architects towards completion in autumn 2021. The team is also responsible for the redesign of a seven-storey car park and 33-unit residential development.

Swansea Arena 8069

The arena building is to be the main anchor and visual landmark of the scheme.

At 8654m2, the arena has a capacity of 3,500 for concert mode, 2196 for theatre mode and 788 for conference mode. The hospitality areas have been created to be highly flexible to optimise revenue.

Our team led the Stage 3 review of Swansea Arena and the wider Copr Bay project, delivering all architectural and interior design packages at the next stages. Part of the scope involved the development of a fully coordinated BIM model, automatic clash detection and the production of the promotional video for the operator.

AFL’s commission follows the practice’s success designing and delivering the Bonus Arena, a legacy project and highly-successful regenerative project created as part of Hull’s City of Culture 2017 celebrations.

A particular challenge was the iconic and highly complex golden lobby ceiling.

The detail required a high level of precision to achieve the right complexity and impact. The team therefore undertook a point cloud survey to create a 3D representation of the space, allowing the ability to tailor design options to the architectural shell.

We enabled both client and contractor to view the ceiling and further interior fitout via augmented reality, the outcome of which can be viewed on this page. This approach allowed the team to model design options in 3D, achieving a level of design communication and articulation to expediate the decision-making process and the programme.

Sightline modelling to ensure everyone has the very best view of the stage.

Creating a space with the minimum number of sightline restrictions not only improves the visitor experience, but operator revenue. It was important to get this right.

Our challenge was to optimise the seating so that the minimum of seats had restricted views - a given target of 750 out of a possible 788 all-seated capacity. Using our in-house automated scripts, we immediately identified that a small adjustment to the row levels made a vast improvement to the quality of sightlines. A proposal for a recessed gangway and specification of a glass balustrade removed a significant obstruction for those with seating towards the back of the auditorium.

Together, these adjustments removed sightline restrictions for 90 seats, reaching a total non-restricted view count of 768. This not only exceeded the target but also improved the overall quality of view.

Swansea Arena 7971

Related Projects