08 April 2008

Quick visit - Cardiff

Spend half a day with Ninad in Cardiff yesterday. Since he is studying there now and is quiet familiar with the city he managed to give me the quickest possible tour of the city (Thanks Ninad!!!) . Though I had been there with my parents and cousins some five years ago I realized that I remembered very little from that trip.

After a very quick walk in the old centre of the city (which felt like any other english town with its high street and same line-up of shops) we headed along the Castle (pictured above) to see his university. From there we headed to the new part of Cardiff closer to Bay.

As you approach the Cardiff Bay the huge and ugly Welsh Millennium Centre catches your eyes. I have to say that though the building has some interesting external cladding made of layers of stones found along the Welsh coast line (see below snap) the building has very little to offer. It is quiet an over-sized monster!

And the sad think is that this was build in place of the winning entry of a highly publicized international architecture competition for the same project (apparently scrapped because of budget problems).

But luckily there is hope (at least in Design terms) for the Cardiff Bay thanks to Richard Roger's Welsh Assembly building which humbly sits looking at the Bay (hidden behind the Monster).

In the above snap the Welsh Assembly is the one on the right with the huge projecting canopy.
This is the main foyer space leading you upstairs from where you can look down along the central light well cladded in Welsh Oak to the main assembly hall of the Welsh government.
And here's the view of the bay from the public deck (above the assembly hall). It really felt like a large scale living room for the city.
And here's a detail of the Oak ceiling flowing down into the main hall.

I have to say after I spend some time in this building I was quiet contend with my trip and decided to leave the rest of the stuff for another trip and we slowly made our way back to the Bus station where I had to catch a looooong ride back to London.

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