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Expedition has been working in collaboration with Beckett Rankine marine specialists and architects Studio Octopi on proposals to repurpose the hulls of the soon-to-be replaced Woolwich ferries into floating pontoons to create HMS Parliament.

We developed and assessed lightweight framing solutions to provide the accommodation within an acceptable increase in the ferries’ loading.

Building on our modular design experience, we proposed that the offices be prefabricated from steel and timber lightweight units that would be transported and craned directly onto the ferry hulls from barges for rapid assembly. These modules will come fully-clad and would be designed to be demounted and redeployed after Parliament’s use.

The Lords and Commons chambers will be formed from elegantly expressed hybrid steel and timber framed construction all erected on the ferries. Again, these will be detailed to permit dismantling and future reuse as a community or school assembly building.

Each ferry will carry significantly more than in their original operation, but this has been reviewed by specialist marine engineers Houlder, and results in an acceptable increase in maximum draft and hull stress.

The summary report can be found here including costings that demonstrate the affordability of the scheme – especially in comparison to other alternatives.

Costing and Security advice was provided by Jackson Coles and Securewest.


Architect: Studio Octopi

Marine Engineer: Beckett Rankine

Naval Architect: Houlder

HMS Parliament