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 slade 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.


  • 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