Studio Egret West , London : Intending to provoke debate around the growing economic and social disparity between London and the rest of the UK the exhibition, entitled HoP Bristol, envisions what might be the outcome should the Government move Parliament to a new site outside of the capital. With the restoration of the Palace of Westminster potentially costing as much as £5.7bn* the scheme confidently suggests that the money could be better invested into a new home for both Houses in Bristol during what could be a six year restoration.
Studio Egret West’s bold concept aims to rethink the role of Parliament in the 21st century with a building that promotes greater accountability, visibility and connectivity between politicians and people. The design for HoP Bristol is a building in the form of a hill which visitors, when arriving at Temple Meads station, are invited to scale and look down from a viewing platform into the “speakers’ theatre” the organic form of which is designed to encourage collective decision-making. The debating chamber, inspired by the idea of a clearing in the woods encourages a less combative approach to government business with opportunities for better cross party cooperation.
The exhibition comprises architectural models and drawings that show the new parliamentarysite, the parliament building with a central chamber shared by both Houses, flexible workspace, a hotel, restaurants and visitor facilities.
HoP Bristol is supported by George Ferguson, The Mayor of Bristol and himself a formerarchitect and Past President of RIBA, who said of the project: “I love this project! Bristol is the prime UK city for Government relocation and this ‘out of the box’ idea for moving the Houses of Parliament is a great example of the sort of lateral thinking that is required. It is an opportunity to help reduce the staggering cost of restoring the Palace of Westminster and to take some of the economic heat out of London. Combined with rail electrification, bringing Bristol Temple Meads just 80 minutes from Paddington, and proposals to link the station with light rail to Bristol Airport and high speed rail to Birmingham and the North, it helps start a lively conversation as to how Government can further help regenerate our regional cities and national economy following our devolution deals.”
Photo Courtesy : Studio Egret West , London