Why British Parliament Might Be Moved Into a Floating Glass Bubble
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Why British Parliament Might Be Moved Into a Floating Glass Bubble

Parliament Proposed River Pod
Gensler ©

Ever feel like government officials live in their own little bubble?

While the Houses of Parliament, in London, undergo extensive renovations, British Parliament may be temporarily housed in a floating glass bubble on the River Thames. 

When construction on the Houses of Parliament  was completed in 1870, they didn't really have things like fire codes or safe electrical wiring. According to a new report, the building now has “substantial and growing risk of either a single, catastrophic event, such as a major fire, or a succession of incremental failures in essential systems.” In order to complete the necessary repairs and upgrades, Parliament must be moved.

Overhauling the Houses of Parliament could take as many as six years, which has many people wondering where the Members of Parliament will convene in the interim. 

A rather whimsical proposal from Gensler, an American architecture firm, gained traction last week when Jeremy Corbyn (leader of the Labour Party), said the plan was “of merit and should be looked at.”

Project Poseidon is an 820-foot-long structure that would sit right in front of the Parliament building on the River Thames. It consists of two wooden domes—one for each chamber of Parliament—and would take less than three years to build.

The firm estimated that it would cost £160 million (approximately $195 million) to construct and install Project Poseidon. The temporary structure, however, could save the United Kingdom more than $2 billion in rent and reconstruction to make other government buildings suitable for parliament.

When updates to the Houses of Parliament are completed and MP's return, the floating structure could then be towed away down the river. Designs even suggest repurposing the bubbles into a Museum of Democracy.

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