Designed to accommodate 5,000 delegates, the venue also includes a 4,000m² main hall – the largest pillar-free ballroom in Europe – and a space that can be divided into six sections to allow for simultaneous events to take place, thanks to sliding partitions.
In addition, there is a 1,500-seat auditorium, 12 flexible meeting rooms, a double-height glass atrium with views of the surrounding Coldra Woods and a 2,500m2 outdoor plaza. The meeting rooms and main hall have also been designed to allow for natural daylight to fill the spaces and create a softer and more inviting environment.
Sisk developed a 4D model at tender stage and had a BIM execution plan approach in place. Following reviews all models were issued weekly to ensure all parties are working from the most up to date information.
Due to the complexity of the auditorium frame, once the structural steelwork was complete we used a specialist company to laser scan the frame and create an ‘As Built’ 3D model. This was then overlaid onto the BIM model to check the accuracy of the frame and helped ensure the fit out works progressed smoothly.
Between 250-300 jobs were generated in the construction of the venue. In total, 22 firms from across the South Wales region were awarded contracts for various aspects of the build. That equated to contracts worth over £22 million to businesses providing a massive boost to the local economy.
The installation of a 10-metre high red dragon, the Welsh emblem, can be seen from the M4 Motorway and acts as a gateway into the country. Forged in the Port Talbot Tata steel works, it was built by Pro Steel Engineering in Pontypool and nearby Caldicot and measures 20 metres in length.
The structure was unveiled in August 2019 in preparation for the first conference at the venue and its installation required extensive logistical planning to ensure minimum disruption to the existing works on-site, along with the local roads and community.