The Senedd building, the seat of Welsh democracy, is an emblem of the nation’s growing independence, the symbol of a nation stepping out with confidence onto the international stage.
A fascinating new book, published by Graffeg, Senedd, pays homage to the home of the National Assembly for Wales, a spectacular building that has become a political and architectural landmark.
Designed by world-renowned architect, Richard Rogers (mastermind of the Pompidou Centre), the design of the Senedd building is as daring as it is graceful.
As the introduction to the book states:
‘The curvilinear roof creating a portico beyond the glass front is imagined as an extension of the sky. The swells of the sculpted ceiling lift every visitor’s chin. The ensemble of glass, steel, slate and timber play in a drama of space and light in the confluence of all the voices of Wales.’
The National Assembly for Wales was determined that aesthetics should go hand-in-hand with 21st century energy-efficiency measures, resulting in the genuinely ‘green’ structure we see today; and that Welsh materials should be used wherever possible.
“The Senedd building completes the jigsaw of landmark buildings in Cardiff Bay. It has a commanding presence, yet sits comfortably in its environment, complementing the Wales Millennium Centre and the listed Pierhead Building,” explains Graffeg MD Peter Gill.
Trevor Fishlock’s eloquent text includes a fascinating insight into Welsh history, from 1536 when Henry V111 declared Wales and England an equal entity, through to devolution in 1997 – placing the Senedd building in a historical context.
Fishlock also shines a light onto Cardiff’s Victorian prosperity, courtesy of coal, plus significant historic events that took place in Cardiff Bay, including the arrival of Captain Scott’s ship, the Terra Nova, in June 1910, to stock up with coal in preparation for the ill-fated voyage to the South Pole, where Scott and his team perished.
He also interviews Lord Rogers and the project director for the Senedd, Ivan Harbour.
Rogers states “…this building in Cardiff Bay lifts my spirits. There are certain buildings amongst one’s work with which one has a more passionate relationship than others. The Senedd is one of them.”