Take a first look at how a cornerstone of Swansea's city centre's retail scene is set to be transformed under plans to relocate the main library and other key services.

These drawings, unveiled by Swansea Council and designed by architects Austin-Smith:Lord Ltd, reveal a dramatic new look for the former BHS/ What! building, and have been included as part of an application supporting the council's plans to change the use of the 1950s building from a shopping to a community hub.

In less than two years, the building is due to be a local services hub. Current proposals are that it will offer easy access to council services, including the library that's set to move from Swansea Civic Centre. It will be joined by a range of other services - and the hub could potentially offer access to the West Glamorgan Archive Service, the authority says.

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How the building currently looks
The building would have a dramatic new look
The plans would feature new cladding and windows to the ground floor
Cladding could be backlit to act as a beacon, planning documents state

Planning documents state that the appearance of the new-look building should have "impact" appropriate to a public building, with "open and active shop frontages" to maintain vibrancy to Oxford Street and Princess Way.

It is proposed that the ground floor exterior is largely windows and that upper floors feature large glazed openings. Planned cladding would be used to give the building a more consistent look than at present. Translucent cladding could be backlit to act as a beacon to help attract visitors, documents state.

There are proposals to have a green wall and planting on a roof area, and inside, the library would act as a "spine" and there'd be a feature grand central staircase.

The design is the latest step in the project that saw contractors began preparatory work in October. The change of use application will now be considered by council planners.

The public can have a say on the change of use plan by clicking here.

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