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Senedd welcomes millionth visitor

18 January 2012

The Senedd, the home of the National Assembly for Wales, has welcomed its millionth visitor.

Samantha Hailes from Cardiff was greeted by Rosemary Butler AM, Presiding Officer for the National Assembly for Wales and presented with a certificate and given a tour of the building.

Rosemary Butler AM, the National Assembly’s Presiding Officer (centre), with Samantha Hailes (left) and friend.

“It’s a lovely surprise. I was having a nice little stroll along the waterfront and it turned into something quite different,” said Samantha.

“I live in Cardiff and walk past the building quite a lot but never seem to have the time to go in.

“It’s a stunning building in a perfect location and I’m glad I made the decision to come in and see it today.”

“I was delighted to welcome Samantha as the millionth visitor to the Senedd,” said Rosemary Butler.

“Since opening six years ago, the Senedd has been an iconic building which attracts visitors and admirers from all over the world.


“At its very heart lie the principles accessibility, transparency and sustainability.

“These are three ideals which are woven into the very fabric of the building in the same way as they are woven into the work of the National Assembly in representing the people of Wales.”

The Senedd, which was officially opened by the Her Majesty the Queen on St David’s Day in 2006, has become a landmark building in Cardiff’s prestigious bay development and is recognised the world over.

It was designed by architects Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners to be transparent and accessible to the public while being one of the most environmentally-friendly parliamentary buildings in the world.

“The Senedd remains very close to us; the most public of our commissions, it is the most environmentally-ambitious building we have built,” said Ivan Harbour from Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners.

“It was conceived to engage and be respectful of its visitors, to promote a transparent democracy for a new century.

“We are delighted to have seen so many spend time in its grand public living room, beneath the undulating timber canopy overlooking the Cardiff Bay.

“In the few years since it was built, the people of Wales have taken it to their hearts and made it their own.”

The Senedd’s environmental credentials have resulted in a number of awards including a prestigious “excellent” certification under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), the first to be given in Wales.

It was also named ‘greenest government building in the UK’ by IRT Energy software in 2009. The design contributed to the National Assembly making a gross saving of £100k through energy efficiency measures over the past two years, as well as reducing its carbon emissions.

There have been architectural accolades as well, with the Senedd winning a Civic Trust Award in 2008, the Chicago Athenaeum International Award in 2006 and a national award from the Royal Institute of British Architects in the same year.

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