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Penhevad Studios, Penhevad Street,

Grangetown, Cardiff, CF11 7LU

© 2017 by Davies Sutton Architects

Singleton Abbey
Swansea University

A Grade II listed building, Singleton abbey is the oldest building on the Campus, and sits within a Grade I listed garden. Significant repairs, improvements and alterations were commissioned by the University of Wales to this C18th building, including the partial demolition and replacement of the ‘Footmans Quarters’ with a 4 storey new ‘main Reception’ Wing. The first phase has been completed and provides up-to-date modern administrative facilities within the historic environment. New openings were also formed within existing building to link the main ‘student mall’ through the campus with the Inner Courtyard framed by the existing buildings.

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The Dining Hall is the most decorative element of the Grade II listed Abbey. Unusually for a mid C19th building it is constructed with a primary timber framed inner wall supporting a traditional trussed roof over, the walls being clad in a rendered pennant stone ‘outer skin’. Timber rot was endemic within.

 

A specialist cantilever scaffold system was provided to temporarily support the primary timber structure from the outside, and thereby allow systematic and piecemeal repair of the rotten primary structural timbers without damaging the original and ornate interior. Missing or damaged carved stone ornament and details were added or repaired respectively, the modern concrete tiled roof replaced with slate, the walls re-rendered, and the decorative windows repaired and restored.

 

The project won two awards in the Lord Mayor of Swansea Design awards, including overall winner in the ‘over half a million’ category.