Cardiff, Wales - December 28, 2018
The Cardiff Pierhead Building (Welsh: Adeilad y Pierhead) is a Grade I listed building. It stands as one of the city of Cardiff's most famous landmarks constructed in 1897 as the headquarters for the Bute Dock Company.
The clock on the building is unofficially known as the "Baby Big Ben" or the "Big Ben of Wales", and also serves as a Welsh history museum. The Pierhead Building is part of the estate of the National Assembly for Wales, which also includes the Welsh Assembly and Ty Hywel.
The Grade One listed building was built in 1897 and designed by William Frame being a replacement for the headquarters of the Bute Dock Company which burnt down in 1892. Frame's mentor was William Burges, with whom Frame worked on the rebuilding of Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch until Burges's death in 1881.
The Bute Dock Company was renamed the Cardiff Railway Company in 1897. A coat of arms on the building's façade bears the company's motto "wrth ddŵr a thân" (by water and fire) encapsulating the elements creating the steam power which transformed Wales.
The Pierhead became the administrative office for the Port of Cardiff in 1947.
Incorporating a French-Gothic Renaissance theme, the Pierhead boasts details such as hexagonal chimneys, carved friezes, gargoyles, and a highly ornamental and distinctive clock tower. Its exterior is finished in glazed terracotta blocks supplied at the end of the nineteenth century by JC Edwards & Co of Acrefair near Ruabon. Once described as one of the most successful producers of terracotta in the world.
These features, along with the Pierhead's role in the development of the docks, Cardiff and industrial Wales earned it the status of a Grade One listed building.