National Assembly for Wales

Following a conclusive referendum in 1987, the National Assembly for Wales was created, with long-sought-after powers of home rule. The decision to locate the new Assembly on the present site in Cardiff Bay was taken by Ron Davies as Secretary of State in April 1998. An international design competition was held with a brief setting out a functional specification for the building, and expressing a clear desire for an open and democratic building, appropriate for the twenty-first century. The competition jury considered designs from a short list of six architects, and recommended a concept design from RRP. The jury described the new design as a symbol of Wales looking with confidence to its future, and as a new form of democracy of which the whole of Wales could be proud.

The specifics of the brief included the stipulation that the building be an exemplar for access, that sustainable strategies and renewable energy systems be implemented throughout, that the building have a minimum 100 year life span, and that, wherever possible, Welsh materials be used. Other elements included a 610 square metre (6,566 sq ft) debating chamber for 60 to 80 members, three committee rooms, offices, a media briefing room, tea room, members’ lounge, public galleries, and a main hall to act as reception, orientation and exhibition space. At RRP’s suggestion, the site, which is located directly facing Cardiff Bay, was expanded to take advantage of the opportunity to complete the ‘jigsaw’ of development in the immediate vicinity and to create an important new public space for the city.

Project data
Location Cardiff, Wales
Type Office
Dates 1998 - 2005
Gross Internal Area 5308 m²
Construction Cost £40,997,000
Client National Assembly for Wales
The Architect Richard Rogers Partnership
David Ardill, Stephen Barret, Ed Burgess, Mike Davies, Lucy Evans, Mike Fairbrass, Rowena Fuller, Marco Goldschmied, Ivan Harbour, Mimi Hawley, Kazu Kofuku, Tom Lacy, James Leathem, Jose Llerena, John Lowe, Tim Mason, Stephen McKaeg, Annie Miller, Liz Oliver, Tamiko Onozawa, Mathis Osterhage, Andrew Partridge, Inma Pedragosa, Tosan Popo, Richard Rogers, Simon Smithson, Neil Wormsley, Daniel Wright, Yoshi Uchiyama, John Young
Structural Engineer Arup
Environmental Consultant BDSP Partnership
Contractor Taylor Woodrow Construction
Project Managers Schal
Landscaping Gillespies
Fire Engineering Warrington Fire Research
Acoustics Sound Research Laboratories
Access Vin Goodwin Access Consultant
Broadcasting Consultant Department Purple
Wind Engineering Arup
Lift Consultant Arup
Facade Engineering Arup
Bomb Blast TPS consult