Architect Norman Foster unveils £300m transparent pop-up Parliament

Architect Norman Foster unveils £300m transparent pop-up Parliament which could be used for MPs when House of Commons is closed for repairs

  • Norman Foster unveiled plans for pop-up Parliament on Horse Guards parade
  • Building could be the potential new home for MPs as the House of Commons
  • It would be designed to be taken down and re-used once it has been vacated

The acclaimed architect Norman Foster has unveiled plans for the extraordinary pop-up Parliament that could become the potential new home for MPs as the House of Commons undergoes repairs.

The £300 million purpose-built temporary Parliament would be built on the Horse Guards Parade and would be designed to be taken down and re-used once it has been vacated.  

The scheme comes after MPs and peers passed motions to give the green light to the restoration work of the Palace of Westminster amid growing concerns over its safety.

The project, which is being worked on by the property developer Sir John Ritblat and Lord Foster, will feature 650 MP offices, committee rooms, dining facilities and a replica of the House of Commons chamber.

The plans for the pop-up Parliament which would be built on the Horse Guards Parade have been unveiled

Architect Norman Foster said the pop-up parliament would provide an 'incredible opportunity' for the country

Architect Norman Foster said the pop-up parliament would provide an ‘incredible opportunity’ for the country

The pop-up building, which will also feature a public gallery and terraces, will be surrounded by a bomb and bulletproof glass and steel dome.

The glass dome would be similar to the original plate-glass and cast-iron Crystal Palace built for the Great Exhibition of 1851.

While the project was rejected three years ago, Sir John Ritblat and Lord Foster were asked to resubmit their plans last month.   

Mr Foster told The Times: ‘It saves a huge amount of money and time and is reusable. It showcases what we can produce as a nation. 

‘Everyone regards the relocation of parliament as a huge problem, but it also presents an incredible opportunity and I can’t see any downsides to our proposal. 

‘Horse Guards is next to 10 and 11 Downing Street and is far more secure than Richmond House [in Whitehall].’

Demolishing the Palace of Westminster, a Grade II listed building, has faced opposition from conservationists and Heritage England over the years.

The Mail on Sunday's impression show how the building will look, based on designs by Lord Foster

The Mail on Sunday’s impression show how the building will look, based on designs by Lord Foster

The scheme comes after MPs and peers passed motions to give the green light to the restoration work of the Palace of Westminster

The scheme comes after MPs and peers passed motions to give the green light to the restoration work of the Palace of Westminster

Theresa May’s government backed the ambitious renovation project, that was approved by MPs in a Commons vote in 2018 and MPs eventually passed motions to give the green light to the restoration work amid growing concerns over safety.

The massive overhaul, set to begin in 2025, was agreed as the Commons antiquated infrastructure was deemed a safety hazard.    

According to the National Audit Office, almost £400million has been spent since 2016 on maintaining the palace, which is said to have sewage leaks, asbestos dust and a lack of disabled access. 

 And according to a report, by those helping to oversee the work, the building is thought to be a fire risk.

Following plans put forward by Mr Foster, Sponsor Body, the group meant to oversee the plans, will now carry out a review of the proposals.  

The outcome of the review is expected to be ready by the autumn.  

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