Rio Architects

Built to inspire


University of South Wales CAPSE and AME Facilities




Architecture, Digital Construction

The University of South Wales’ CAPSE and AME facilities are located on its Treforest campus. A nationally recognised independent research, development, test and certification house, The Centre for Automotive and Power Systems Engineering (CAPSE) is a key part of the University’s research and development centre.

As well as a research facility, the University is also home to the School of Engineering and its Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) building.

A development of 2,000 square metres, we designed both buildings to meet the expanding needs of the University and the future growth of its programs.

The design prioritises creating contemporary buildings that reflect the University’s aspirations, ensuring modern facilities that attract both students and corporate investment. When planning the layout, we maintained a consistent scale, maximised daylight with generous glazing and a focus on acoustic considerations to reduce noise.


The first facility, AME, is a two-storey extension of the School of Engineering. Our design of this building takes advantage of the topography constraints, placing the noisy engineering activities to the rear and utilising the natural acoustic buffering properties of the hillside behind it.

The facility houses workshops, classrooms, and research laboratories. The building has been designed as a showcase for the department and the activities, systems, and machinery, which includes a fully assembled twin-engine aeroplane.

Built in close proximity to AME, the two-storey CAPSE building is home to laboratories, offices and demonstration zones catering for day-to-day engineering staff and visiting clients.

Both buildings feature large areas of glazing, offering a glimpse into internal operations and machinery and showcasing the University’s high-quality engineering processes.

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