What's this building in London?

This one should be very easy (for Londoners), but I can’t figure out how to look it up on the web. There’s a building on the Thames right near Parliament, on the clock end (which is not Big Ben of course, since that’s the bell). It’s a very dark building, which a black roof with stovepipe-like chimneys on it.

Here’s a picture, but it’s my own, so it doesn’t really help in the identifying.

Anyone know what building this is? Any why they would build something so hideous in one of the most popular parts of London?

It’s Portcullis House. It provides offices for 210 Members of Parliament and 400 staff together with committee rooms and other facilities, and was completed in August 2000 at a cost of £234 million. And yes, butt-ugly is one way of describing it.

Yeah, just out of the picture and to the left is Big Ben - the trees you see in the foreground are inside the Palace of Westminster. Lots of interesting tummels under Portcullis House, allegedly. I believe there’s one ‘known’ to the public which is a passageway for MP’s and the like to pass between there and Parliament. There are others, it seems.

Also, Portcullis House had to incorporate Parliament Square tube station in its bowels (as well as that of which we have no official knowledge), plus they put in a new tube line which passes through the station … so it’s all a bit complicated underground.

I don’t know if the tunnels also connect to 10 Downing Street but it wouldn’t be a great surprise given what’s - again allegedly - already beneath the surface.

My guess is the design is supposed to ‘interpret’ the gothic facade of Parliament for the modern era.

As hammos1 says, it’s Portcullis House. It has its own website.


And, yes, it’s not the most elegent addition to the London skyline. On the other hand, the Tube station beneath it is rather impressive.