Bayscape is an exciting brand new development in Cardiff Bay consisting of two apartment blocks which are nine and ten storeys in height. The two towers are joined by a podium slab which offers a relaxing communal space overlooking the marina.

The major challenge on this scheme was to provide 115 parking spaces, one for each apartment, under the podium slab as well as providing three commercial units. These restrictions inevitably meant that the apartment blocks were built off large transfer beams to avoid the main building columns fouling parking spaces.

Major revetment works had to be undertaken which involved installing a 100m long sheet pile wall which allowed the ground levels to be raised along the river. This will complete the walkway along the river to Cardiff’s International White Water Rafting Centre.

The sheet pile wall is anchored back using 25m long steel tie rods to a smaller sheet pile wall. Coordination between the steel tie rods and the buildings driven precast piles was critical as tolerances between the rods and driven piles were small. RVW undertook detailed load analysis to vary the type of piles used to further reduce construction costs for the client. We were able to optimise the use of the cheaper 275mm square piles and limit the number of 350mm square piles which was a custom made pile with a larger load capacity but vastly more expensive.

The entire superstructure consisted of a reinforced concrete frame which utilises shear walls placed strategically around the building to provide stability. The concrete floor plates distribute the wind loads back to the shear walls via diaphragm action.

Being in close vicinity to the water’s edge, careful consideration had to be made with the grade of the exposed concrete and cover to reinforcement. The undercroft car park also required careful consideration with regards to the concrete specification as gritting in the winter and gases produced by vehicles accelerate degradation of the concrete over time.

Utilising BIM software has been fundamental in preconstruction coordination amongst the design team and several workshops have been held to discuss clashes with the building frame and architecture. This process provided confidence between the design team and the contractor and therefore provided greater cost assurance pre contract. The latest 3D design software was used which helped rationalise the structure and produced a lean cost efficient design.

RVW also undertook the civil engineering aspects of the scheme which involved producing a full drainage design. Liaising with local authorities was important in getting agreements with new site access and closing up of the old entrance.



Project Client

Cardiff Marine Group


Rio Architects



Project Value


Completion Date

Spring 2018