Portcullis House, Westminster
Michael Hopkins and Partners

 
The (enormously expensive) facades of Michael Hopkins and Partners' (enormously expensive) Parliament building have finally started to rise from the ground, or at least the big hole in it where Westminster underground station will be: they look like they've been stripped off an agreeable loft building in Clerkenwell - where, one might speculate, members of the Hopkins office live - and re-positioned with the aid of some delicate pre-stressed wire frame alongside the Houses of Parliament. But we can be sure that these walls do far more than their Clerkenwell predecessors, at least keeping the hot air inside, possibly filtering out the surrounding filth and pollution, and certainly giving those MPs lucky enough to be moved there - under the premiership of William Hague, perhaps - stimulating views of the River and what used to be County Hall.