Welsh Assembly Building Opens

7 02 2006

The Senate / Y Senedd, opened today in Cardiff.

Interestingly “The Senate” implies that it has all the powers thereof a parliament, sadly it doesn’t quite have that power, yet. Although judging by the vast majority of the Welsh it may not be so far fatched to conceed that one day it will.

^The entrance to the assembly is striking

^The cowl above the chamber rotates to ease circulation of air

^The building is filled with natural materials including wood and slate.
Of which comes from Wales, some of the wood itself is reclaimed.

^This mirrored cone can be lowered to alter light levels in the chamber

^Assembly Ministers meet in the chamber for the first time
Visitors will have unrestricted access on the main plinth level. They’ll be able to look down into the debating chamber, and watch their AM below.

Totally Green

The building was desigined with “green” principles in mind, resulting in one of Europes most organically green buildings to date. Loaded with energy saving, renewable energy and recycling features, here are just some of them:

  • The building can use the ground as a heat source.
  • Can use wood chips or pellets for the boiler
  • Rainwater can be collected via the huge steel coloumns supporting the roof to supply the toilets and wash the windows

^The Assembly building looks out onto Cardiff bay / Bae Caerdydd

The Price tag
The building cost more and more as time progressed the total cost came to a whopping £67M. At one point the building was left unfinished for two years due to a dispute between the Welsh Assembly government and Lord Rogers, The architect of the building.

The spiralling price tag and the 2 year gap angered many who believed that the assembly building was a waste of tax payers money.

^The debating chamber, ready for the computer panels to be installed

I personally love the organic quality of this building, and I feel it reflects the modern Wales today. Time will tell if the price tag was worth it though…

Related Resources:

Welsh assembly building