Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to inaugurate the new Parliament building on May 28. This project has been in the works since 2019 as part of the Central Vista Redevelopment Project by the Government of India. The current colonial era Parliament building is over a hundred years old and with the increase in Parliamentary activities the building is in dire need of renovations and modifications. As the nation and its needs change, so must its infrastructure. While we wait for the inauguration and for the new to take over the old let's take a look at five incredible Parliamentary Buildings:
The Palace of the Parliament/The People's House, Bucharest, Romania:
Deemed the largest and heaviest administrative building in the world used for civilian purposes and the most expensive administrative building–The Romanian Parliament building is a colossal and controversial structure built under the dictatorial regime of Nicolae Ceausescu. With a towering height of 84m and weighing about 4,098,500 kilograms, the building is famous for its ornate interior design and craftsmanship. The post-modern neoclassical palace was part of the systematisation program by Nicolae Caeusecus who was in turn inspired by the Juche ideology in North Korea. Despite starting its construction in 1984 the building remains incomplete even today. Just 30% of the building's capacity has been used, the other 70% remains empty. Only two large meeting rooms and 400 other rooms have been completed out of the designed 1,100. The building houses the two chambers of the Parliament of Romania, three entire museums, and a massive international conference centre. The enormous and intricate 12-story palace also hosts a spacious nuclear bunker as a direct result of the late dictator's fear of a possible nuclear war.
The National Congress, Federal District, Brazil:
Oscar Nemyer's Iconic structure houses the previously separate bicameral legislature of the state and is lovingly called the face of Brazilian architecture. The Congressional Palace is a composition of five parts: twin administrative towers flanked by a large, white concrete dome (the meeting place of the Senate) and by an equally massive concrete bowl (the Chamber of Deputies), which is joined to the dome by an underlying, flat-roofed building. Located in Praça dos Três Poderes (Square of the Three Powers) the power centre of the state. Where the Planalto Palace (presidential office) and the Federal Supreme Court building (seat of the highest authority of the judicial power) are, the National congress enjoys its position as one of the most impressive buildings in the square, fully embodying Brazilian modernist architecture. In 1960, after its completion, it soon formally became the seat of the legislative body of the Brazilian government as the Federal Capital was transferred from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia.
The Sri Lankan Parliament Complex, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Sri Lanka:
About 16 kilometres east of Colombo in an artificially created island called Duwa the current parliament building of Sri Lanka designed by Deshamanya Geoffrey Bawa is located. Bawa believed that man and nature were inseparable and that belief of his translated into most of his works as well.This is a project that cost over $25.4 million and was built by a partnership between two Japanese Mitsui groups, it was officially completed in 1982. The design of the Parliament Complex is purposefully built to imitate the style of a floating palace. The central pavilion flanked by five others alludes to an artificial sense of asymmetry which contrasts with the organic structure of the lake. The building, though an example of modernism, is designed in a style that accommodates and highlights Sri Lanka's vernacular architecture. The complex is associated with being the leader of a subgenre of modernism namely tropical modernism, one whose notable features is the building of structures to go with the elements rather than against them.
The Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest, Hungary:
Since its completion in 1902 it The Hungarian Parliament Building has been the largest building in the country. With a symmetrical façade and a central dome, the structure which took 17 years to build was designed by Hungarian architect Imre Steindl in a neo-Gothic style. It is also the third-largest parliament building in the world complete with 691 interior rooms, 10 courtyards, 88 statues of Hungarian rulers on its facade, and 12.5 miles of 29 staircases–spanning over an area of 18,000sq.m with 28 entrances. The building has 242 sculptures on the walls alone. The intricately designed Parliament building is filled with displays like that of King Stevens crown jewels. Inspired by the British Parliament the Hungarian Parliament building is not just an important governmental headquarter but also an Iconic landmark. Other than the six metre tall marble monoliths along the main stairs every material used to build the Parliament building was homegrown.
Parliament House, Canberra, Australia:
Opened in 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II of Australia, the Parliament house also known as capital hill, is the legislative seat of the Australian government. Designed by Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp the building is a striking piece of architecture. The site covers around 18 acres and when seen from a distance is four metres higher than the original height of the hill. Its highlights are two curved walls, both 460m in length, that divide the Parliament house into four: the House of Representatives and offices for members on the eastern side. To follow the tradition of the colour scheme of the British House of Commons, the House of Representatives is decorated in green and the Senate red. However, the colour is muted to suggest the colour of the Australian eucalyptus. The Chamber itself is designed to seat up to 172 members, with room to accommodate a total of 240 temporarily. The new building was designed to encourage public access and involvement while responding to the Australian climate, landscape, vegetation, and even the quality of the light. It was designed to be both a functional building and a major national symbol all the while imitating the structure of a boomerang. The old building is now being preserved as a historic site. The forecourt is adorned by a 196sq.m mosaic, which was designed by an Indigenous Australian artist Michael Nelson Jagamarra In 1983. The height of the major flag mast on top of the building is 81 metres and weighs 220 tonnes.