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Friday, October 16, 1998 Published at 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK

UK Politics

Assembly for the Millennium

The winning design: "Elegant and economic"

The architects responsible for the Millennium Dome have won the competition to design the 20m home of the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff.

[ image: An Assembly in the shape of a wave was rejected]
An Assembly in the shape of a wave was rejected
The Richard Rogers Partnership has been named winner in an international competition.

Unveiling the futuristic design, former prime minister Lord Callaghan said it was "one of the most instantly recognisable pieces of architecture at the dawn of the 21st century".

The BBC's Nick Palit: "All the hallmarks of a Richard Rogers design"
"Our firm expectation is that it can become a building that Wales will be proud of and which will represent the new spirit of democracy in the next Millennium."

The design was unanimously declared the winner from a short-list of six considered by Lord Callaghan and his team.

[ image: Assembly with a panic button was also rejected]
Assembly with a panic button was also rejected
The Welsh Secretary Ron Davies is expected to confirm the award of the contract next week.

Lord Callaghan said, in the panel's opinion, the Richard Rogers design had the merits of being "simple, straightforward, elegant and economic".

"It allows for light and transparency, and will provide generous public spaces. In symbolic form, it represents the open, modern democracy which the National Assembly for Wales must be."

The Assembly building will not be completed until 2001. Until then the 60 members, to be elected next May, will meet at Crickhowell House close to the chosen site in Cardiff Bay.

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