Following a two year-long bidding process, British-based international practice BDP (Building Design Partnership) have been chosen to restore and safeguard the future of the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the United Kingdom’s parliament. Outbidding Foster + Partners, Allies and Morrison, and HOK the project is expected to run into billions of pounds and could see the two chambers—the House of Commons and the House of Lords, plus all ancillary support staff—move out of the iconic building for to a decade.
The commission comes after an appraisal commissioned in 2013 argued that without large-scale works, the building would not be able to continue to be used in the near future. Since its construction in the 1800s, many of the systems “have never undergone a major renovation,” according to BDP, “and the heating, ventilation, water, drainage and electrical systems are extremely antiquated.”
BDP have confirmed that their “full interdisciplinary appointment” will cover architectural design, civil and structural engineering, building services engineering, interior design, landscape architecture, lighting design, acoustics, and planning. They will be working alongside heritage and conservation specialists Donald Insall Associates, civil and structural engineers Alan Baxter Associates, building services engineers Hoare Lea, and planning consultancy Gerald Eve.
According to the Architects’ Journal, “exact timings, costs and the final programme are yet to be known and will be subject to a parliamentary debate to be held in October at the earliest although no date has yet been confirmed by the government.”