Stepping into Portland House offers a glimpse into Cardiff's rich history. The National Provincial Bank (as it used to be known) was labelled as "one of the finest buildings of its kind in South Wales." Built in 1927 by architects F.C.R Palmer and W.F.C Holden, the building was the highest structure of any size in the Cardiff Docks at the time.
The construction of 113-116 Bute Street had marked a significant stage in the commercial development of Cardiff adding to the current sense of confidence in the future. There was an anticipation of further commercial success for the city as well as wider prosperity for the Dockland developments.
The site was not an easy one to build upon, as the ground was former marshland and it was necessary to go down to a depth of 35-40ft before proper foundations could be reached.
The building consists of the main banking hall on the ground floor (with bank vaults in the basement) and offices on the four upper floors. The banking hall is an impressive, lofty space populated by columns of French Echaillon marble from the neighbourhood of Grenoble.
Portland House is situated in Cardiff bay, a cosmopolitan water front development, home to many new businesses, bars and cultural attractions. The venue has excellent transport links being only a stone’s throw from Cardiff Bay train station, which has routes to Cardiff stations and South Wales, and multiple car parks a few minutes’ walk away.