Welsh National Assembly BuildingEdit profile
In April 1998, an international design competition was held for a building to house the National Assembly for Wales. The brief set out a functional specification for the building, appropriate for use in the 21st century. The building was completed in 2005 and officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen on 1st March 2006, accompanied by Prince Philip, Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall.
Aims and functional requirements included in the brief:
- The building be an exemplar for disabled access.
- Sustainable strategies and renewable energy systems be implemented throughout.
- The building should have a minimum 100-year life span.
- Wherever possible, Welsh materials be used.
- A 610 sq m. (6,566 sq ft) debating chamber for 60 to 80 members, three committee rooms, offices, a media briefing room, a members’ lounge, public galleries and a main hall offering reception, public café and exhibition areas.
As a publicly-funded building, cost certainty was seen as one of the most important criteria for the New Assembly Building. Following a review of the procurement options, the architect was re-commissioned under a Design & Build, fixed-price contract which meant that the total cost of the development would be fixed from the begining. In light of this approach, prefabrication techniques with off-site assembly were maximised. In addition, natural materials including timber, slate and stone were chosen for their life-cycle cost, including value, durability and maintenance regime, with each element specified to achieve a 100-year design life in the challenging marine environment of Cardiff Bay.