New Conference Centre style environment including 700 seater auditorium overlooking Swansea Bay

Swansea University’s Bay Campus opened in September 2015 representing £450m of investment over two phases, and is one of the largest knowledge economy projects in Europe.

At the heart of the new Bay Campus is the Great Hall. This £32m facility was designed by Porphyrious Architects, with Powell Dobson Architects in the role of project designers for the fit-out of the building and design of the first floor space. This area includes the new fabulous 700 seater Sir Stanley Clarke Auditorium, named after the founder of St. Modwen, the developers of the Bay Campus. There is also a cafe and bar with a balcony with unrestricted vistas over Swansea Bay.

The Great Hall has near perfect acoustic qualities in the Sir Stanley Clarke auditorium and provides a space for a re-imagined cultural arts and concert venue for both the University and the wider community. It has been envisioned as a multi-purpose space that will fulfil a number of roles:

  •  It will host a cultural programme of professional music performances, public lectures, small exhibitions of the University, archives and research projects and musical performances of different genres by the student performing arts societies.
  •  It will be a setting for major University events such as graduation ceremonies and the Student Ball
  •  It will host community arts and cultural events and festivals.
  •  It will provide a major international conferencing venue with supporting facilities.
  •  it will be a major venue for community and schools outreach.

The design of the auditorium space allows for total flexibility. The stage is designed to accommodate the creation of different layouts depending on the requirement, and it houses a new organ installation. The room also has both retractable and removable seating with a maximum capacity of 700, and can be divided into two spaces to service smaller conferences or wedding ceremonies/reception events.

The mezzanine level provides technical accommodation including a control and projection room.

Jeff Tucker, Director of Powell Dobson said: “We are delighted to have been involved in what has been a very special project for us, working with Swansea University, St. Modwen and the fit-out contractor MAC Interiors. The high quality of the acoustics and internal finishes in the concert hall was a prime objective from the outset for both the University and ourselves and I am very pleased that this quality has been maintained and delivered in the completed scheme. The final result is a credit to all concerned and should provide a fantastic, flexible venue and performance space not just for the University, but the wider city and region. We wish the University every success with the venue for the future.”

“The Great Hall is at the heart of the new campus, a central hub for students, staff and visitors to come together to celebrate not just science and innovation but culture and arts in a truly magnificent auditorium where the University will host large events, concerts and international conference for the region. It is a space where members of the public can join the campus community in a truly special environment.” Professor Iwan Davies, Senior Pro Vice Chancellor, Swansea University.

As the University approaches its centenary in 2020, the Great Hall will host a wide range of programmes and events offering truly inspiring facilities and a fitting setting for students, staff, friends and member of the public to enjoy.

Project Sheet for The Great Hall Swansea University