BDP has beaten a string of big name architects to land the contract to refurbish the UK parliament in London, while Lord Foster has proposed a ‘pop-up’ temporary home for the country’s politicians
BDP has been awarded a full interdisciplinary contract for client advisory services to help ensure the safe and secure future of the Palace of Westminster.
The prestigious contract was won against three other practices Allies and Morrison, Foster and Partners and HOK.
Since its construction in the mid-1800s, many features and systems in the Palace have never undergone a major renovation, and the heating, ventilation, water, drainage and electrical systems are extremely antiquated. In awarding this contract, Parliament can take forward the crucial work required to safeguard the Palace and keep Parliament running.
Architect director Tim Leach said: “It’s an enormous privilege for the practice to be entrusted with helping safeguard the Palace of Westminster, this international symbol of democracy and our society’s shared values. This new programme of work presents the unique and very special challenge of responding to the needs of Parliament and its visitors, and conserving its historic fabric for this and all future generations.”
BDP’s full interdisciplinary appointment is for architecture, civil and structural engineering, building services engineering, interior design, landscape architecture, lighting design, acoustics and planning.
Collaborating with BDP on the project will be heritage and conservation specialist Donald Insall Associates, civil and structural engineer Alan Baxter Associates, building services engineer Hoare Lea and planning consultancy Gerald Eve along with a number of SMEs.
In November last year BDP won the contract for client advisory services for the Northern Estate Programme (NEP), the creative adaptation and conservation of a number of historic buildings for the House of Commons, also against strong competition.
BDP is also already working on the refurbishment of one of Whitehall’s most impressive listed buildings, the Old Admiralty Building on Horse Guards Parade, for the Department for Education which is currently on site.
Meanwhile a glass-domed ‘pop-up’ parliament has been proposed by Lord Foster as a temporary home for the UK’s politicians during the renovation works. The glass and steel structure will be built on Horse Guards Parade to a design inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace which was part of the Great Exhibition of 1851.