The upcoming refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster means the UK Parliament needs to move – but with minimal disruptions. Gensler has proposed they don’t have to move very far. Instead, the architecture firm has come up with a plan that would allow parliament to conduct business on a floating structure on the River Thames. The modular construction, named Project Poseidon would be both cost effective for taxpayers and visually stunning for passersby.
It is estimated the refurbishment may take up to six years to complete, leaving Parliament in a bind and possibly having to work in multiple, separate locations. Gensler’s solution makes sure government business remains under one roof and enjoys the natural security of the surrounding river. The 8,600 square meter structure would be made out of steel platforms and a wooden frame with a design inspired by the hammer-beam roof of Westminster Hall.
Construction of floating Project Poseidon could take as little as three years, taking place at a handful of shipyards around the UK. The pieces could be shipped across the Thames to be assembled in their final place, only 10 meters away from the Palace of Westminster. Duncan Swinhoe, Regional Managing Principal at Gensler, excitedly boasts the future applications of the floating structure: “Once the refurbishment of the Palace is complete, the modular structure could be relocated and adapted to provide a permanent legacy such as a Museum for Democracy or alternatively a new parliament for an emerging overseas democracy.”
Images via Gensler