National Assembly for Wales

Cardiff, Wales

National Assembly for Wales

The National Assembly for Wales, which opened in 2006, is home to the elected body that guides legislation and policy-making for the entire region.

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In April 1998, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners won an international design competition to design a building to house the National Assembly for Wales. The brief set out a functional specification for the building, expressing a clear desire for an open and democratic building, appropriate for the 21st century. In response to the initial design brief, RSHP created a piece of architecture that was not only innovative and memorable but a building that would engage with Cardiff Bay, Wales and beyond.

Located in a spectacular setting overlooking Cardiff Bay, the building is a transparent vessel, looking outwards to Cardiff Bay, providing visibility to the inner workings of the Assembly and encouraging the public to engage with it. The embodiment of democratic values — openness, transparency and participation — is the driving factor in the design of the new Senedd.

The public realm provides a Welsh slate landscape — a ‘sea’ that appears to rise out of the bay, providing a plinth for a new public forum which in turn is sheltered under a protective canopy of timber — the sky.

Awards

  • 2007 Chicago Athenaeum International Award
  • 2007 Civic Trust Award
  • 2006 RIBA Stirling Prize Building of the Year Shortlist
  • 2006 RIBA National Award
  • 2006 RIBA Stirling Prize Building of the Year Shortlist