Cardiff Bay is known the world over for the waterfront development that transformed an abandoned docks into a thriving tourist destination. But can you imagine how it would look with a beach? How different it would be with a beach next to Mermaid Quay and a swimming pool in the oval basin
Architect Nicholas Socrates‘ vision of how the bay could look if a beach was constructed next to Mermaid Quay. It also shows the basin at Roald Dahl Plaza transformed into a lido, with people swimming as the Wales Millennium Centre looms.
Nicholas said: “Barcelona is a model city. The most famous beach in Barcelona is Barceloneta stretching for three miles. It is an artificial beach but it is marvellous and beautiful! During summer, the beach is always crowded with locals and tourists.
“Barcelona’s waterfront was originally an old industrial area of vacant warehouses, factories, and rail yards, furthermore, it was polluted by vast landfill sites.
“However, in preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games its waterfront was regenerated with its artificial sandy beach being a central focus.”
Water quality is key to the success of the proposed Cardiff Bay beach.
Nicholas said: “The water within the barrage is supplied from the river Taff and the river Ely with a small amount of salt-water ingress from the main locks whilst allowing boats to pass through.
“Thanks to the installed oxygenation systems in the bay the quality of the freshwater is greatly improved.
“The aeration systems may need to be increased and other techniques utilised to improve the water quality to a state where full leisure recreation, like swimming, can take place.”
Greater connectivity between Cardiff Bay and the city is crucial.
Nicholas said: “There are various transport projects aimed at providing greater connectivity between the bay and the city and the wider region at large, but what should take precedence is the regeneration and activation of Lloyd George Avenue to create an exciting boulevard for pedestrian flow, consequentially seamlessly integrating the city into the bay.”
Nicholas said: “Another innovation is to flood the Roald Dahl Plaza bringing the water back into the Oval Basin in front of the Wales Millennium Centre thereby creating a public lido re-animating a former industrial waterway into leisure, activities and recreation.”