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Bibliographical Information
Senedd (English)
Trevor Fishlock
ISBN: 9781905582433 (1905582439)Publication Date: September 2010
Publisher: Graffeg
Illustrated by Andrew MolyneuxFormat: Paperback, 250x250 mm, 192 pages Language: English Available Our Price: £10.00 
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English Book of the Month: October 2010
The Senedd was designed to be a bridge into the future, emerging from a long historical and political evolution. This illustrated book by Trevor Fishlock explores the background to the Assembly's site in Cardiff Bay and to government in Wales. The photographs illustrate the building designed by Richard Rogers: its construction, technology and architecture.

Bwriadwyd y Senedd i fod yn bont i'r dyfodol, gan adeiladu ar draddodiad hir o hanes a gwleidyddiaeth. Mae'r gyfrol hon gan Trevor Fishlock yn edrych ar gefndir safle'r Cynulliad ym Mae Caerdydd a llywodraeth Cymru. Ceir yma luniau trawiadol o'r adeilad a gynlluniwyd gan Richard Rogers, sy'n adlewyrchu'r saernïaeth, y dechnoleg a'r bensaernïaeth.
This large pictorial record of the design, construction and use of the National Assembly for Wales building is in the popular Graffeg series of glossy titles covering many aspects of life in Wales including its landscape, various towns and districts of Wales, its food and sport.

The massive project of designing a building that would reflect Welsh life and culture, while commanding respect on the world stage, was entrusted to the Richard Rogers Partnership, in particular to Ivan Harbour. In his introduction, Trevor Fishlock gives a brief overview of the way the building came about, quoting Lord Callaghan’s view that the Assembly building should be that of ‘a democratic Assembly listening to and leading a small democratic nation’. He goes on to discuss the historical background to the devolution of power to Wales and the development of Cardiff as the First City. Concentrating on the area of Cardiff around the Senedd we learn of the importance of the Bute family, Robert Scott and of the Norwegian church which served the thousands of Scandinavian and other foreign seamen, as well as areas like Tiger Bay. The whole panorama of Cardiff docks has changed with the coming of the Assembly building and Millennium Centre and it is good to be reminded of the rich history which preceded these modern developments.

The description of the way in which Ivan Harbour developed his concept of how the Senedd building could reflect Welsh life and culture while providing a light, efficient workplace for the Assembly Members and encompassing modern ideas for conserving energy and protecting the environment, makes fascinating reading. Detailed preliminary drawings are included, showing the stages of construction and a full portrayal of the completed building.

Trevor Fishlock includes discussions he had with Lord Richard Rogers and Ivan Harbour about the project as well as a talk with the Presiding Officer of the Assembly, Dafydd Elis-Thomas. He describes the daily life of those working in the building, including the Assembly chamber itself, and the various artists who have contributed to the distinctive artworks which enhance this unique building.

Essentially, though, this is a pictorial record. Its pages are full of wonderful pictures by Andrew Molyneux which bring the words to life. Old Cardiff, early design work, ongoing construction, and the elegance of the finished building are all shown in clear, colourful photographs which make this book a fine record of the concept and development of the Senedd building.

Beryl Thomas

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio’r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
Author Biography:
Trevor Fishlock reported across the world as a foreign correspondent and was The Times staffer in India and New York, and The Daily Telegraph bureau chief in Moscow. He won the International Reporter of the Year prize in the British Press Awards. He reported Wales in the 1970s and has written books on Wales, India, America and Russia.
His Conquerors of Time explored 150 years of discovery and invention. He won a Bafta as writer-presenter of the popular television series Wild Tracks. He has sailed twice across the north Atlantic and through the Roaring Forties from Cape Town to Melbourne. He lives in Cardiff.
Further Information:
Adventurous sea-wave cedar curves suggest confidence. Crystal walls affirm transparency of government. From this plinth and promontory Wales looks the world in the eye. Given its embodiment of two concepts, a visionary architectural flight and an all too human arena of government, the Senedd was inevitably forged in passion and furious argument. No one said it would be easy. As an assembly and crossroads of all Wales this is a new democracy at work. And the work is hard. The clear meaning of the Senedd is that it is Our Place and the future is up to us to shape. A dozen years ago the modern spectacle of Cardiff waterfront was a dream. With stunning new photographs of the Senedd building by Andrew Molyneux, and archive pictures, this book shows how the Senedd at the heart of it became a provocative and inspirational reality.
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