|Front view of the Senned|
|The debating chamber's walls become the roof|
Openness and friendliness are not just an architectural feature. The staff is very friendly and the whole operation of the Assembly reinforces this feeling. The building is open to the public and anyone can just wander in. When I was there, question time was underway and we could simply go into the viewing gallery to watch the proceedings.
|The debating chamber. Photo: Anne Siegel, CC-BY 2.0|
The debating chamber should be imagined like an onion still planted in the ground: in the inside core (on the ground floor, but one level down from the elevated baseline of the open inner areas of the building) there is the round debating chamber, separated by a glass wall and one floor higher there is a viewing gallery and all this is encapsulated by the wooden walls that form the skin of the onion and also it continues to become the roof. The roof has a wavy shape that resonates with the nearby sea and can be imagined as the leaves of the onion, sticking out of the ground.
|The viewing chamber with little TVs and headphones for the interpretations. Photo: photoeverywhere.co.uk CC-BY 2.5|
This onion shaped inner core is surrounded by the committee rooms on two sides with glass walls (again building on transparency) and there is a gallery in the middle which is an open space that has some comfy chairs and can be filled with chairs for various events.
|The open space above the debating chamber. Photo: photoeverywhere.co.uk CC-BY-2.5|
On the ground floor there is a gift shop where they sell Wales related items and almost anything branded with the logo of the Assembly, the most interesting among them is the Devolution brew beer.
|Devolution brew from the gift shop|