City Hall, Cardiff

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Cardiff City Hall
Cardiff City Hall cropped.jpg
Cardiff City Hall logo.gif
The City Hall logo; "VC" stands for Villa Cardiff.
General information
Architectural style Edwardian Baroque
Town or city Cardiff
Country Wales, United Kingdom
Completed 1906
Cost £226,288[1]
Client Corporation of Cardiff
Design and construction
Architect Henry Vaughan Lanchester
James Stewart
Edwin Alfred Rickards

City Hall is a civic building in Cathays Park, Cardiff, Wales, serving as Cardiff's centre of local government since it opened in October 1906. Built of Portland stone, it is an important early example of the Edwardian Baroque style.

History[edit]

The competition to design Cardiff's fifth town hall and adjacent law courts was won in 1897 by the firm of Lanchester, Stewart and Rickards. Construction was carried out by local builders E. Turner and Sons. The complex replaces the fourth town hall on the western side of St Mary's Street, built by architect Horace Jones c. 1850–53 (demolished 1913).

As Cardiff received its city charter in 1905 while construction was underway, the current building is known as City Hall.

Exterior architecture[edit]

Clock tower[edit]

The distinctive clock tower is 59 m (194 ft) in height has a 3.7 m-diameter (12 ft) gilded dial on each of its four faces. The clock mechanism includes an hour bell and four quarter bells which are each inscribed with mottoes in English or Welsh.[2]

Fountains and pool[edit]

In front of the entrance portico is a rectangular pool with fountains. They were created in July 1969 to mark the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.[2]

Interior rooms, functions and art collections[edit]

Marble Hall[edit]

The first floor landing of City Hall is decorated with statues in Pentelicon marble of famous figures from Welsh history. These were funded by a gift from David Alfred Thomas, 1st Viscount Rhondda; the personages to be commemorated were decided by a competition in the Western Mail. The Marble Hall was unveiled by David Lloyd George, then Secretary of State for War, on October 27, 1916.[1]

Assembly Room[edit]

This room has hosted royalty, international statesmen and diplomats, and can seat 500 diners simultaneously. It is used for miscellaneous ceremonies, conferences and events during the year. It is decorated with mouldings picked out in gold leaf, of mermaids and other sea creatures. Three large bronze chandeliers are contemporary to the original architects' design.[2]

Council Chamber[edit]

Council Chamber

This is located above the main entrance portico and directly below the main dome of the building. The chamber was designed to host Cardiff's Council meetings (which have subsequently been relocated to Atlantic Wharf). The dome of City Hall is supported by four massive pillars of Italian marble. The chamber is panelled throughout in oak.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

The cover of the Catatonia single "Mulder and Scully" has a UFO above the building similar to the movie poster for Independence Day.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Chappell, Edgar L. (1946). Cardiff's Civic Centre: A historical guide. Priory Press. , pp. 21–6
  2. ^ a b c d Cardiff Council City Hall Cardiff: Visitor Information Guide Second edition, 2006

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′06″N 3°10′43″W / 51.48504°N 3.17857°W / 51.48504; -3.17857