Dubbed the ‘Coolest Car Park in Cardiff’, the Pierhead Street multi-storey car park in Cardiff Bay formed part of the £150m Cardiff Waterside commercial development. The 21st Century design represents the rich nautical heritage of Cardiff Bay. Here Technical Director, Barry Clarke explains how the stunning dramatic light wave effect on its façade was structurally created.
The car park is essentially a simple rectangular structure, 98m long and 20m high. The local geography makes it a prominent landmark within Cardiff Bay, visible over distances from the city of Cardiff itself. As such, it provided a unique opportunity for an iconic statement in support of the Cardiff Bay development, not something that you would think would naturally occur with such a mundane building form. To this end, a sense of movement and visual interest was called for, to the north elevation of the structure.
The nature of Cardiff Bay suggests waves rolling onto a coastal beach, however wave shapes have become somewhat cliché for coastal developments. The design concept developed therefore was for a rolling wave structure, progressing along the façade of the building, with dynamic lighting to enhance the sense of movement:- not so much what a wave looks like, more what a wave is.