British MP suggests turning Houses of Parliament into luxury hotel
London, Feb. 6, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Should one of the world’s most recognised buildings, Britain’s houses of Parliament, be converted into a luxury hotel and tourist attraction?
That was the idea put forward Monday by MP Ed Vaizey, a former minister for digital and the creative industries, as the iconic Palace of Westminster will undergo a massive 5.22 billion U.S. dollar facelift.
Britain’s second biggest city, Birmingham, 200 kilometers north of London, could be the home of the brand-new parliament building, Vaizey said in an interview with journal Building Design.
“This country should close this building. It should become a heritage site and luxury hotel owned by Historic Royal Palaces. Then we should build an entirely new Parliamentary complex that reflects modern Britain,” he said.
“I would be open to it being built somewhere like Birmingham. It would be quite exciting to move Parliament to Birmingham. It would help get HS2 (Britain’s new London to Birmingham high-speed link) built. All the opposition would fade away,” he added.
Legislators in the Houses of Parliament have voted for politicians from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as parliamentary staff, to be moved to temporary homes while the work is carried out.
The journal said discussions remain ongoing but the most likely contender for a temporary House of Commons chamber would be Richmond House in Whitehall, while the House of Lords would move to the QEII Center on the far side of Parliament Square.
One U.S. architect came up with a novel solution to build a floating Houses of Parliament that would sit in the River Thames, a few meters away from the existing historic building.
The restoration work will be the biggest facelift the Houses of Parliament undergoes in its history. The oldest part of the palace, Westminster Hall, dates back 900 years, with the rest of the complex built in the 1830s after the old medieval parliament buildings were destroyed by a fire.