PEARTREE LIFE: Experiencing Languages

A tour of the Senedd, the main building of the Welsh Assembly

One of the buildings that form the National Assembly for Wales is y Senedd (the Senate/Parliament) which was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on St. David's Day in 2006. The building took 5 years to build (2001 - 2006) and the building itself is one of the most environmentally friendly parliaments in the world, costing nearly 70 million pounds to create.


The Senedd houses three committee rooms and most importantly the Siambr, the debating chamber. Though it is an official building, it is still open to the public and there regularly are guided tours for interested groups. We have had many fascinating tours with our students and the building and its people never fail to provide us with another great excursion.

To give you some insight into our trips to the building, we put together an article that will take you on an astonishing journey through the parliament! If you want to explore more you can go to the Senedd whenever or take their virtual tour at assembly.wales/en/gethome/education/visits/visit-cardiff-bay/Pages/virtual-tour.aspx

The Senedd is located directly at Cardiff Bay next to the Pierhead Building. The many stairs and wheelchair ramps in front of it are made of stone and are the perfect place to sit down and look over the bay area. In the summer, visitors and staff alike can be found here enjoying their lunch breaks in the sunshine.


The entrance hall (y Neuadd) is the first thing to notice once you go inside as it is vast but well structured. The reception is in the middle of this picture, the people working there can also answer your questions about the building and its functions. The floor is made of local, Welsh slate which gives the building a very unique relief just like the coarse Welsh landscape. To the right you can go to the conference rooms and the stairs on the left lead you upwards to the Oriel, the sitting and café area.

Up there you will notice the enormous amount of wood that has been used in the making of the almost fluid looking ceiling. The material is Canadian timber and the structure in the middle of this floor transitions into the ceiling to represent a tree, the symbol of vitality and strength.


Underneath the tree's trunk, you can take a look inside the Siambr where the Assembly Members meet for conferences. This room is called the public viewing gallery and is separated from the debating chamber by security glass, it can hold up to 128 people. Even the AM's desks which are arranged in a circle, are made of Welsh oak.

One of the most interesting features though is the sustainability aspect of the building. It's architecture is highly important for the underlying features such as minimal energy consumption and waste as well as the use of renewable technologies. One of the energy-saving features are pipes in the ground that heat up water pumping towards the Senedd using 'geothermal energy', so the warmth of the earth. This water also runs under the slate floor to provide a constant heating system. Additionally, rainwater is collected to flush the toilets.

All these innovative features help to make the Senedd a truly interesting and worthwhile building that also represents Wales as a whole. We hope you liked the tour!
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About Peartree Languages

Peartree Languages is a language school located in Cardiff.

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