For architecture enthusiasts, Wales’ capital leaves you spoilt for choice; from monuments, to the city’s interesting industrial past and to modern structures engraved with poetry.
With its dome and pillars, the museum is one of the most imposing buildings in the city. Inside is just as impressive with a big echoey entrance and grand staircases. It was designed by architects Arnold Dunbar Smith and Cecil Brewer and founded in 1905, but because of the First World War, it didn’t officially open until 1927. If you look closely, you’ll see the many sculptures decorating the exterior, including dragons and lions. The museum exhibits collections of art, natural history, archaeology, botany and holds a plenty of events and interactive activities.
Senedd means parliament in Welsh. It’s where the Welsh Assembly meets and is also open to the public. Looking up as you enter, you will see an incredible undulating wooden ceiling which leads to a tree-like structure in the middle. The building is in Cardiff Bay, previously a busy port during the industrial era which was then regenerated as a leisure area in the nineties once the demand for coal slumped. The architect company Richard Rogers Partnership said of their vision: “The building was not to be an insular, closed edifice. Rather it would be a transparent envelope, looking outwards to Cardiff Bay and beyond, making visible the inner workings of the Assembly and encouraging public participation in the democratic process.”
Both modern and timeless, this building’s architecture is the work of Jonathan Adams. Materials used include Welsh slate, steel treated with copper oxide and wood. Huge letters which are illuminated at night make the main feature of the building. On the front of the dome are two poetic lines, written by Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis in the Welsh and English languages: in Welsh it says: CREU GWIR//FEL GWYDR//O FFWRNAIS AWEN: ‘Creating Truth Like Glass From Inspiration’s Furnace.’ In English it says: IN THESE STONES//HORIZONS//SING. Inside is a venue, restaurant, cafe and more.