International architecture firm Gensler has come up with an idea for the crumbling Houses of Parliament - to move MPs and lords onto the Thames.

The Palace of Westminster needs urgent refurbishment in a project which could take years and involves the whole building being vacated.

Gensler says its idea for a modular structure located on the river would provide a flexible and secure home that helps save the British taxpayer more than £1.8 billion and allows the urgent repair works to proceed.

The challenge has been to find a suitable location within Whitehall that can accommodate Parliament in an efficient and cost effective manner for an estimated six years.

Gensler says "The design creates a completely new temporary Parliament under one roof in the same world famous location in the heart of Westminster avoiding the dispersion of core parliamentary activity to multiple locations. The concept overcomes some of the initial concerns about a river location by ensuring the structure does not interrupt the navigable channel along the centre of the river."

Ian Mulcahey, Managing Director at Gensler, said: “The concept provides a simple solution to what is a very complex problem. The challenge has been to find a location that enables all the key components of Parliament to be located together in close proximity to the wider Government estate in Whitehall.

" The objective has been to minimise disruption and reduce the cost of the refurbishment to the taxpayer. The Palace of Westminster is one of the most important symbols of democracy in the world. This scheme provides a powerful expression of continuity and reinforces the UK’s world-leading creative expertise.”


Story dated Oct 17 th 2016