The Palace of Westminster in London is home to the Houses of Parliament (the House of Commons and the House of Lords). The Old Palace was destroyed by fire in 1834. It was made up of a complex of buildings dating back to medieval times. In 1840 construction started on the new palace, designed by Charles Barry with interiors by Augustus W. N. Pugin. The New Palace was built in the Perpendicular Gothic style, and covers an area of approximately 8 acres.
The palace took thirty years to build; neither Barry nor Pugin lived to see it completed. By the time Colt arrived in London, both parliamentary chambers were finished and in use, although the two towers were still being built.