Houses of Parliament redesign takes a step forward



Managers of the Houses of Parliament look set to issue a contract for architecture and interior design after suggestions that the building might have to be abandoned in the next 20 years if refurbishment doesn’t take place.

Speaker John Bercow has previously said that without redesign work, parliamentarians will have to leave the building, while Lord Lisvane, former clerk of the House of Commons, told the Financial Times that the building’s basement is a “cathedral of horrors” and that “a catastrophic failure of services is never far away”.

A decision on restoration of the building could be taken in the next parliament, but experts have suggested that the bill could be up to £3 billion.

The Corporate Officer of the House of Lords and the Corporate Officer for the House of Commons have now issues a joint tender which comes ahead of a possible contract covering architecture, design and interiors consultancy, as well as other services.

The tender reads: “The corporate officers recognise that the restoration and renewal programme will be very challenging in terms of its technical complexity, heritage considerations and level of public scrutiny.

“Their view is that these challenges can only be successfully met by working in partnership with its advisors to develop and deliver collaborative solutions.”

The officers say they are looking to “initiate a marketing engagement exercise” ahead of procuring services. They add: “The exact scope, size, duration, phasing and delivery model for the services has yet to be defined.”

In a bid for feedback on the proposal, the officers say: “This will be your opportunity to discuss the programme and inform Parliament’s approach to procurement.”

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