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Check out the designs for a floating Parliament in a giant bubble on the Thames

By Hayley Spencer

The Houses of Parliament need a huge renovation, which would cost billions of pounds, but architecture firm Gensler has a plan to help cut costs. It's proposing moving MPs and Lords into a giant floating bubble-like building on the Thames during the works.

The temporary Parliament building would be 250 metres long and 42 metres deep, and made from steel modules and a wooden frame clad in curved panels of glass.


The world's largest architecture firm, Gensler says the futuristic design would cost £160 million, meaning a staggering saving of £1.8 billion in rental and decanting costs of relocating the MPs and Lords.

The bubble-like building would be split into two halves; one for the House of Commons and one for the House of Lords, represented by two bumps on the outside. And the Thames would act as a moat for the building meaning it would meet the necessary security spec.


'The structure would add a new iconic landmark to London and would not impact the protected vista of the Palace of Westminster from the summit of Parliament Hill,' said Gensler.

After the renovations are complete, Gensler has suggested the bubble could be relocated and reused, suggesting it could become a museum of democracy.

Renovations are due to start in 2020, so keep your eyes peeled for any new floating additions to the Thames.

Check out these amazing photos of London from above

Or watch this GoPro footage of a guy climbing onto the roof of Tate Modern


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