Rio Architects is celebrating the next exciting phase of Rightacres' ongoing redevelopment of the former Brains Brewery site at Central Quay. 


At a Glance

  • A unique waterfront location blending lifestyle, entertainment and nature
  • New high-rise build-to-rent residential apartments
  • Associated private amenity spaces together with bars and restaurants at ground floor
  • Sustainable infrastructure and public realms works

Located alongside the River Taff in the heart of Cardiff’s City Centre, the development regenerates the former Brains Brewery site, providing high-quality build-to-rent apartments whilst protecting and retaining the brewhouse, its iconic chimney and inherited cultural heritage. Having gained planning approval in June this year, the proposals demonstrate the sympathetic and sensitive approach Rio has taken to develop the designs in harmony with the masterplanner’s vision and retain these distinctive landmarks as a focal point for the city. The residential towers and their commercial plinth will reference the colours and textures of the Brewhouse materials and compliment the historic building.

The design brings about a unique opportunity for the extension of the City Centre to the south of Central Station and is the latest of several Rio-designed schemes within the wider Central Quay masterplan to receive planning approval. It is also the first of a series of linked riverfront developments that provide a much-needed connection between the City Centre and Cardiff Bay. It will create a new space of urban green infrastructure along the eastern bank of the River Taff and provide the opportunity for a brand-new neighbourhood lifestyle within the heart of the city.

Chris Taylor, Architect and Senior Associate at Rio Architects, said:I am thrilled that planning approval has been granted for this exciting and transformational development in the heart of my home city. The provision of these new buildings and the homes they will create is the next important step in the making of a new riverfront neighbourhood at Central Quay. The development is underpinned by the creation of high-quality public spaces based on strong principles of people-focused urban design. I look forward to our continuing involvement in the wider Central Quay masterplan and will enjoy watching the development progress.

The benefits to the city are numerous. The extensive and imaginative design and new riverfront walkway with green infrastructure and connected cycle routes will deliver significant enhancements to the public realm with improvements to biodiversity, drainage and potential flooding impacts within the area. The character and setting of the iconic chimney and brewhouse are enhanced and made accessible to the general public as they have never been before. With its connection to existing rail, road, foot, cycle and water infrastructure, the development helps reconnect the city to Cardiff Bay and the River Taff and well-positioned to attract and retain further investment into Cardiff, bringing opportunities for growth.