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Trees/Water features in Portcullis House (2020)

Request

Please can you tell me the reason why the trees and water feature in Portcullis House have been replaced with an "agile working zone"? What was the cost of removing the trees/planters/water feature and bringing in the furniture/carpet for the working zone?

 

Response

This information is held by the House of Commons. The House holds a record of the following information:

“The central area of the Portcullis House (PCH) atrium is currently occupied by two water features. These water features are broken and provide no benefit to the space around them.
PCH is already a popular destination for agile working and informal meetings. During decant the pressure on PCH is likely to increase. Therefore, it is important to ensure the space is being utilised in the best way possible.”

It may interest you to know that the water features in the central area of the Portcullis House atrium have not been in use for some time and would require considerable refurbishment works to make them functional again. Rather than doing this, the House decided to break out the water features and make good the floor to increase capacity as an informal business lounge and break-out space for work and meetings as space on the Northern Estate is at a premium during the Restoration & Renewal (R&R) programme. The House expects this demand to increase as the R&R programme develops. Whilst not listed, the project has had the involvement of the SE Design Authority Architects who consider the water features to be part of the environment of the building. Sensitive to the preservation of the stone for future use, the materials and frame for the water features are being stored such that they could be reinstated post-R&R when pressure on the space may be different.

You also asked for the cost of removing the trees/planters/water feature and bringing in the furniture/carpet for the working zone. This information is held by the House of Commons.  The final costs for this work were £133,998 (exc. VAT).