Practice appointed to restore buildings across Westminster

BDP has bagged the lead design role on the £500m revamp of MPs’ offices in Westminster, known as the Northern Estate Programme.

The buildings to be restored include the grade I-listed Norman Shaw North and grade II-listed Norman Shaw South buildings - both of which are now over 100 years old - along with 1 Derby Gate and 1 Parliament Street, a pair of grade II-listed adjoining buildings dating from the 1880s, and Cannon Row residences.

The works may also take in Richmond House, currently occupied by the Department of Health, which is the proposed new temporary home for the House of Commons during £4bn restoration works to the Palace of Westminster.

The winner of the project and cost management role on the Northern Estate programme - where runners and riders include a Mace and Aecom joint venture, a team featuring Lendlease and Sweett, and individual bids from Arcadis and Turner & Townsend - is expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

BDP will provide architectural design, lead design, master planning, town planning, design management and co-ordination, decant and relocation planning, workspace design, BIM services, heritage and conservation design, surveys management, security and other services on the programme of works. The practice expects to make £15m-£25m in fees.

Around 15,300 sqm of office space will be refurbished in the Northern Estate together with external spaces linking the individual buildings, with works due to be complete in the early 2020s.

BDP architect director Tim Leach said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to refurbish the buildings on Parliament’s Northern Estate, close to the Palace of Westminster and at the heart of Whitehall, to create a modern office environment and external landscape to meet the needs of the House of Commons, its MPs, researchers and supporting facilities, well into the 21st century.”

BDP is already working on the refurbishment of Whitehall’s Old Admiralty building on Horse Guards Parade for the Department for Education.

BDP is also shortlisted as one of four practices for the separate £4bn restoration of the Palace of Westminster.

Labour MP Chris Byrant, the parliamentary joint committee member and spokesperson for the restoration of the palace, said at an event at the Palace of Westminster earlier this week that MPs and their staff would likely temporarily occupy Richmond House while refurbishment work is carried out to other buildings in the Northern Estate, prior to it being occupied by the House of Commons.

Bryant added that he would like the restoration of the Palace of Westminster and programme of works in parliament’s Northern Estate combined into one overarching programme of works on the parliamentary estate because the works in the Northern Estate need to be completed before the works on the palace can begin. The timetable for the works to the palace is already slipping with Bryant saying a 2022-23 start date - nearly two years later than a report from Deloitte, Aecom and HOK last year recommended.

Bryant said the Department of Health was in the process of moving out of the building and that the Commons were close to securing and that it was hoped the works to the Northern Estate buildings including grade I-listed Norman Shaw North and grade II-listed Norman Shaw South buildings, along with 1 Derby Gate and 1 Parliament Street and Cannon Row residences, would be underway by the end of this parliament