Once the hub of Cardiff’s prosperous coal trade, The Coal Exchange is a monumental building located in the heart of what used to be a wealthy residential neighbourhood.
In keeping with the grandeur of its surroundings at the time, The Coal Exchange’s architect and designers were challenged to create a striking commerce building. One that would blend into the picturesque residential surroundings of Mount Stuart Square.
Bustling with constant trade since doors opened in late 19th century, The Coal Exchange was the pinnacle of Cardiff’s wealth and prosperity.
But due to the decline in demand for coal, the building closed its doors in 1958. Following World War One, Cardiff’s success dwindled and The Coal Exchange building fell into disuse.
Opened and closed again
In 1975 The Coal Exchange received Grade II listed status bestowed by Cadw (The Historic Environment Service of the Welsh Government).
For nearly two decades after closing The Coal Exchange went unused in large part. There were bids to have the building used for offices of the Welsh Assembly and S4C, but both were rejected.
The beckoning beauty of The Coal Exchange building and surrounding area lent itself well to filming locations. The building was utilised for this purpose on many occasion, in particular for a BBC drama Bevan.
It wasn’t until the turn of a new century that The Coal Exchange received its second chance at a new life.
The Coal Exchange became a grand music venue and played host to some big names in the business. The Artic Monkeys, Manic Street Preachers and Biffy Clyro were but a few of the acts that graced the stages here.
Sadly, it was not to be and the building closed for the foreseeable future in 2013.
Now in 2017, Signature Living owners Lawrence and Katie Kenwright are looking forward to opening Exchange Hotel.
This glorious prominent part of Cardiff history will finally be given a permeant purpose. Just over half a century since the doors closed on The Coal Exchange, Signature Living has breathed new life into every corner of this fine structure.
Signature Living aims to restore as many original features synonymous with The Coal Exchange as possible. In doing so they will revive a piece of Cardiff’s history that has been neglected for so long.
Holding onto as much of the original structure as possible Signature Living’s design team are attempting to preserve unique features such as ancient brick archways discovered in the basement.
Even more breathtaking is the main hall roof, a striking example of the level of opulence Edwin Seward succeeded in achieving. This stunning feature of The Coal Exchange could possibly provide Exchange Hotel with the same level of luxury if it can be safely restored.
Grand Bassey Hall
A focal point of The Coal Exchange when it was open for business was the main trading floor.
This space that has been fully restored to its original magnificence with wood carved panelling and striking Corinthian columns.
Elaborate features such as The Dragon Clock at the head of the hall and the Lion barometer opposite have been retained as well.
The title Grand Bassey Hall evokes the majesty expected from the space. Named for legendary Welsh icon Dame Shirley Bassey the hall is predicted to host glamorous parties, memorable weddings and grand events held at Signature Living’s Exchange Hotel.
Preserving The Coal Exchange
So many areas of the building echo the grandeur of its past.
The curvature of upper floor rooms found in the wings of the building provides ideal space and light for luxury hotel rooms.
Original architectural features such as arch framed and half Georgian windows will be restored and preserved where possible.
The vaulted hallways of the building are being lovingly restored to continue the elegance and luxury throughout.
Signature Living visions
As with other buildings that Signature Living have revived, the Exchange Hotel will be much more than your average luxury accommodation.
Utilising original features of the building, Signature Living will be providing their guests and visitors with an entirely unexpected hotel experience.
In previous projects, such as 30 James Street and The Shankly Hotel, Signature Living not only brought new meaning to luxury accommodation but set a new standard of leisure experience.
Signature Living are known for taking advantage of the unique features of ancient buildings. This venture should be no different when it comes to providing the guests of Exchange Hotel something entirely unexpected.
Stay ahead of all the latest developments at Exchange Hotel here or for any questions or further information get in touch here.