Gensler has released further images of its concept for a £160 million floating Houses of Parliament
The practice proposed ’Project Poseidon’ earlier this month as a temporary home for MPs while the Palace of Westminster undergoes a £4 billion revamp over six years.
The new images show how the internal architecture of Gensler’s ‘radical concept’ is inspired by the hammer-beam roof of Westminster Hall.
The House of Commons and the House of Lords, beneftting from daylight provided by skylights, would be replicated to the same dimensions – and colour schemes – to ensure familiarity and reduce disruption to politicians. The Royal Gallery and Central Lobby would also be reproduced in the 250m-long and 42m-wide modular structure.
Philippe Paré, design principal at Gensler, said: ‘It is important that the design is true to the iconic interiors that people are so familiar with to ensure our concept is still recognisable as parliament, but we wanted to give it a modern twist.
‘Building a new structure from the ground up creates an opportunity to incorporate workplace design principles that are proven to improve productivity, well‐being and collaboration.’
He said that, as the proposed 8,600m² structure would use public funds, the practice had ‘focused on restraint and efficiency’. It has also used simple interiors to retain flexibility for the building’s future use, potentially as a museum for democracy or new parliament for an emerging overseas democracy.
Other features include planting in the Inner Deck, the space between the structure’s outer bubble and inner box, while a light trough around the base of the chambers would illuminate the building at night. A basalt stone walkway would run between the exterior and the chambers.
The high-tech wooden-framed structure, built on a series of steel platforms, could be constructed in less than three years in UK shipyards and then floated along the Thames before being assembled 10 metres from the Palace of Westminster.
Other visions for a temporary parliament include architect Kieran Thomas Wardle’s Palace of Eastminster in East Tilbury, Essex, and Studio Egret West’s short-term home on the site of a former Royal Mail sorting office next to Temple Meads Station in Bristol.