Aberystwyth University Mather & Co

The transformation of Aberystwyth University has started.

The first phase of work has started on the Old College transformation project, which aims to breathe new life into the historic building and create a vibrant cultural centre.

Image credit: Austin-Smith:Lord

Mather & Co are undertaking the interpretation design and build elements of the new scheme, including three permanent exhibition galleries showing the rich heritage of the building and University collections, temporary exhibition spaces and further interpretation and wayfinding throughout the building.

The redevelopment of Old College is poised to become a magnetic hub, attracting an estimated 200,000 visitors annually, and acting as a catalyst for the regeneration of the surrounding area. This transformative project will offer engaging activities that unlock the captivating stories and treasures from the University’s fascinating history, while dynamic programmes will expand horizons and knowledge in the realms of science, humanities, creativity, innovation, and enterprise.

Taking inspiration from the University’s motto, “World of Knowledge,” the revitalised Old College will house a diverse range of captivating features. Among these will be a centre dedicated to pioneering science and research, a University Museum, an empowering initiative for young people to enhance their skills, aspirations, and well-being, a cutting-edge cinema facility, and a 24-7 student study centre.

Once completed, the Old College will provide a major centre for learning, heritage, culture and enterprise in three themed zones: World of Knowledge, Culture and Community, and Enterprise and Innovation.

Backed by the Welsh Government, Old College is one of the most ambitious educational, heritage, cultural and community projects in Wales. The project has been awarded £11.1m by the National Lottery Heritage Fund along with funding from Welsh Government, the European Regional Development Fund, The National Lottery Community Fund, the Coastal Communities Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, the Joy Welch Educational Charitable Trust, the Foyle Foundation, the Gwendoline and Margaret Davies Charity and individual donations.

The redevelopment is due to be complete by 2024 – a year after the University’s 150th anniversary. This opening will mark the fulfilment of a vision and the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the University and the wider community.

Project team

Client: University of Aberystwyth

Lead Consultant: Lawray Architects

Principal Designer: Lawray CDM

Conservation Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture: Austin-Smith:Lord

MEP / Acoustics / Fire: Hoare Lea

QS / Project Manager: Blake Morgan

Planning Consultant: Asbri Planning

Design and Exhibition Consultants: Mather & Co