First images released of the temporary home for the House of Commons

The temporary House of Commons Chamber. Credit: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

The first images of Parliament's new temporary home have been released showing a gleaming, modern debating chamber and offices fit for the 21st Century.

Parliament’s Northern Estate, the group of buildings along Parliament Street and Whitehall, will be home to the 650 MPs and their staff while the Palace of Westminster, including the House of Commons, undergoes vital renovation.

Tom Brake MP, spokesperson for the House of Commons Commission, the Parliamentary authority responsible for the project, said: “Across the UK and the world the Palace of Westminster is recognised as an icon of democracy and yet the building itself is in increasingly urgent need of repair.

"The plans we are launching for consultation today are the essential first step towards ensuring it can be protected for future generations, as well as delivering a transformed Parliamentary Estate."

The cost of the renovation project has been estimated at more than £3bn.

The chamber will which will feature new public and press galleries and public spaces for visitors. Credit: Forbes Massie Studio

A temporary House of Commons Chamber will be delivered within a substantially redeveloped Richmond House, the former Department for Health building which was vacated in early 2018.

The building which replaces Richmond House will be designed by Stirling Prize winning architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, one of the UK’s leading architecture practices.

It retains key frontages visible to the public on Whitehall – revealing internally the full scale of the Whitehall façade with a triple height central lobby space and refurbishing the Georgian Richmond Terrace as well as 54 Parliament Street & 85 Whitehall.

A triple height central lobby space will greet visitors to the temporary home of Parliament. Credit: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

The temporary chamber has been carefully designed to replicate the familiar character and the functions of the existing House of Commons chamber and will provide a greater level of accessibility for MPs and visitors, including a fully accessible public gallery.

A new press gallery and education and participation spaces will also be provided to ensure public access and engagement.

An impression of the entrance to Richmond House, as seen from Canon Row. Credit: Forbes Massie Studio

The development of the plans follows the decision of both Houses of Parliament in 2018 to temporarily move out of the Palace of Westminster while essential work to the building takes place, estimated to start in the mid-2020s.

The work is expected to take well into the 2030s.

Fears have been raised of a fire risk because of old wiring inside the Palace. Credit: UK Parliament

The design proposals were officially launched for consultation on Wednesday.

MPs had warned the Palace of Westminster was on the edge of a "catastrophic failure" unless the renovation project was urgently addressed.