- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 08 Jun 2015
National Assembly for Wales
The election of the Welsh National Assembly in 1999, was a turning point in the history of Wales. Its home, Cardiff’s former docklands, is a striking addition to the local scene and a statement of faith in the regeneration process. The Assembly building embodies democratic values of openness and participation, while its progressive environmental agenda establishes a new standard for public buildings in Britain.
The setting is the Pierhead, once the centre of the coal exporting trade. Nearby are the Grade I listed Pierhead Building and the new Wales Millennium Centre. The idea of openness is exemplified by the transparency of the building. Public spaces are elevated on a slate-clad plinth and cut away to allow daylight to penetrate the administrative spaces at lower level. A light-weight, gently undulating roof shelters both internal and external spaces, pierced by the protruding extension of the Debating Chamber.
A large circular space at the heart of the building, the Chamber is defined by the dramatic roof which is drawn down from the roof above to form the enclosure. The Assembly also includes exhibition and education spaces, a café, committee and meeting rooms, press facilities, offices for the principal officers of the Assembly and a members’ lounge.
The servicing strategy responds to the varying demands of the internal spaces – air-conditioning is supplied in the debating chamber, while the public lobby is naturally ventilated. Heat exchangers capitalise on the potential of the ground as a cooling mechanism, while the thermal mass of the plinth tempers fluctuations in the internal environment. In this way, the design achieves significant energy savings compared to traditional buildings.
- Place/Date: Cardiff, Wales 1998 - 2005
- Client: National Assembly for Wales
- Cost: £41 million
- Gross Internal Area: 5,308 m²
- Architect: Richard Rogers Partnership
- Structural Engineer: Arup
- Environmental Consultant: BDSP Partnership
- Project Manager: Schal
- Landscape Architect: Gillespies
- Fire Consultant: Warrington Fire Research
- Acoustic Consultant: Sound Research Laboratories
- Access Consultant: Vin Goodwin Access Consultant
- Broadcasting Consultant: Department Purple
- Wind Engineering Consultant: Arup
- Façade Engineer: Arup
- Bomb Blast Consultant: TPS Consult
- Civic Trust Award, 2008
- RIBA Award National, 2006
- RIBA Stirling Prize Building of the Year Shortlist, 2006
- Structural Steelwork Design Award, 2006
- Gold Medal in Architecture, National Eisteddfod, 2006
- Natural Stone Award, 2006
Featured articles and news
The phrase ‘time at large’ describes the situation where there is no date for completion, or it has become invalid.
The Maldives is under threat from climate change. Read this report from BRE on their potential involvement in the region.
MHCLG update states there are still 124 private high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding and no remediation plan.
Starting a new built environment degree? We have a wide range of resources aimed at students.
Former railway chief James Blake says trust and control are key to successful infrastructure projects.
Do you know your Rococo from your De Stijl, your Gothic from your Post-modernist?
May outlines a new funding strategy for housing associations and says the 'stigma' of social housing needs to end.
RIBA launches a consultation on a new Plan of Work for Fire Safety.
This article offers some basic rules to follow when writing your next specification.
The iconic Mackintosh Building will definitely be rebuilt, board chairwoman confirms.
The machinery used to fashion stone has changed dramatically - and so have the products.