The Palace of Westminster, the building which runs all of United Kingdom has had its fair share of wear and tear due to environmental effects. There have been talks about a multi-billion pound refurbishment of the building addressing issues like water leaks, poor wiring, and risk of fire. But there is one problem, such a massive re-haul would take at least six years, rendering the government “shelterless”.
So in a bid to provide an alternate, Gensler has designed a futuristic water-based modular building, called Project Poseidon. This amazing piece of architecture aims to provide a place for the Members of Parliament to converge, and located on the River Thames directly adjacent to the existing Member’s terrace, the idea seems to be feasible, geographically.
The building would act as a standalone alternative to the Palace of Westminster and would be designed and built in UK shipyards. The design, according to Gensler, would take over three years to be built and floated down the Thames. The initial design is estimated to measure around 250 x 42 m (820 x 137 ft) and would rest on a series of steel platforms. It would also have a barrier to acting as protection from a passing water-borne craft.
The striking glazed design seems to be inspired from the famous 14th Century hammer-beam timber roof of Westminster Hall, and this project is estimated to cost around £160 million (US$204 million).
Spending so much for a temporary building seems like a very weak financial investment, but Gensler argues that Project Poseidon would reduce the total refurbishment costs by up to £1.8 billion ($2.3 billion), although it is unclear up till now how this will happen.
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