The peristyle (or ‘colonnade’) is the central reception and meeting point of the Federal Parliament. It can often be seen on television as a backdrop for interviews with senators or representatives. This is also where national and international dignitaries are officially received and where the many group visits start.

On either side of the peristyle, there is a monumental staircase. The staircase to the left, covered in red carpet, leads to the Senate; the one to the right, covered in green carpet, leads to the House of Representatives. Red is the colour of the Senate and green the colour of the House of Representatives; each colour serves as a clear means of orientation throughout the building.