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The best parliament buildings

The best parliament buildings
With all eyes on Westminster for the upcoming UK election, we take a look at 5 of the best parliament buildings...

Read on for the next instalment in our series of articles looking at the best examples of  architecture in the world around us. This week's 5 of the best looks at some of our favourite parliament buildings.


The Hungarian Parliament Building sits on the edge of the river Danube, a beautifully imposing building overlooking Pest. The largest building in Hungary and the tallest in Budapest, it required 40 million bricks, 500,000 precious stones and 40kg of gold to build it. 
Imre Steindl won an architectural competition to design and build it in 1885 and while he designed it in a Neo-gothic/Gothic Revival style best recognised in its symmetrical façade, he also added a central dome clearly inspired by Renaissance Revival architecture. 
Tragically, Steindl went blind before the building was finished in 1904 and passed away two years before then. He would never lay eyes upon the completion of his most elegant work.


When British Columbia decided they needed a new legislative building, they held a competition to decide which architect would design it. The competition was won by an English immigrant, the 25-year-old Francis Rattenbury who had entered under the pseudonym ‘A.B.C Architect’. Rattenbury signed his drawing ‘For Queen and Province’, which must have won him some brownie points. 
The building is located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and combines the symmetry expected of a Neo-Baroque style with the rusticated surfaces of the Romanesque Revival style which was popular at the time.


Berlin’s Reichstag is a mish-mash of Baroque Revival and Postmodern architectural styles. Of course, when it was opened in 1894 it was purely a Baroque creation until the building was severely damaged in a fire under shady circumstances in 1933. 
The Reichstag fell into disuse for several decades; it was completely ignored until German reunification in 1990, when the new government finally decided to refurbish the building. When Norman Foster led the reconstruction he brought a Postmodern style with him, so everything was gutted apart from the outer walls. 
The government’s one rule was to respect the historic aspects of the building. Even the graffiti from Soviet soldiers after the Battle for Berlin was left untouched, and it can still be visited today.


Opened in 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II, Canberra's Parliament House is one of the largest buildings in the southern hemisphere. It’s a fantastic example of modern architecture that looks like it belongs more on the set of a sci-fi film than it does Australian parliament. 
Despite the futuristic façade, the building itself is a real mix of Australian culture. Famous aboriginal artist Nelson Jagamara designed a mosaic in the forecourt made out of 90,000 pieces of granite in 7 different colours, while the Great Hall Tapestry is based on a painting by Australian artist Arthur Boyd, AC, OBE that shows a eucalyptus forest in New South Wales. At 20m x 9m long, it’s one of the largest tapestries in the world.


secretariat building
Like many other Indian buildings in the 1910s, the Secretariat Building was designed by a British architect. Herbert Baker drew heavily from Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, incorporating Mughal and Rajasthani styles and motifs. Cream and red sandstone were brought in from Rajasthan to form the base of the building, while the top of the building is fitted with a chatri, often used in ancient times to give weary travellers shade from the sun, but now more of a nod to the country’s history than anything else. 
Four ‘dominion columns’ sit in front of the main gates, gifts given by Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa when all countries existed as dominions of the British Empire.
                                                                                                                                                                                          source : architecture.com

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