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Welsh Office Building (Crown Building)

A Grade II Listed Building in Castle (Castell), Cardiff

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4883 / 51°29'17"N

Longitude: -3.1825 / 3°10'56"W

OS Eastings: 317996

OS Northings: 177253

OS Grid: ST179772

Mapcode National: GBR KHJ.CG

Mapcode Global: VH6F6.SVFG

Entry Name: Welsh Office Building (Crown Building)

Listing Date: 19 May 1975

Last Amended: 30 April 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 13741

Building Class: Commercial

Location: At N end of Cathays Park, facing S onto N side of Alexandra Gardens.

County: Cardiff

Community: Castle (Castell)

Community: Castle

Built-Up Area: Cardiff

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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History

The foundations of a Classical Welsh Government Offices building had been laid on the site in 1914. In 1934-38 the present front block was built as offices for the Welsh Board of Health, designed by P K Hanton, architect. Between 1972 and 1979, the massive rear block was added, by Alex Gordon and Partners. The Architects' Journal called this block 'a symbol of closed inaccessible government', giving the impression of 'bureaucracy under siege'.

Exterior

Front block faced in Portland Stone. Three storeys plus attic on basement. South-east elevation of 15 bays. Each bay with tall rectangular glazed opening extending vertically downwards through 3 main floors and flanked by plain pilasters of equal width to windows; entablature with modillion cornice; doorway in centre bay. Recessed attic storey with 13 square glazed openings and with carved panel to each end bay; hipped roof behind. Against each return, a projecting portico rising to same height as main entablature of south-east elevation; giant pilasters, space between each pilaster enclosed by a glazed opening of similar proportion to those on south-east elevation; central doorway; entablature.

Interior

1930s block.
In 1930s block, lobby leads to staircase hall in polished limestone, stairs with Art-Deco rails. Simple Classical details. Principal office with panelled doors, original light fittings etc. Other offices, and corridors largely unaltered but in austere functional style. Staircase to each end.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for special interest of 1930s block. Group value with other listed buildings in Cathays Park.

Other nearby listed buildings

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