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A rendering of the temporary chamberNational Capital Commission

Within a few years, our nation's lawmakers will be able to gaze into the cosmos for inspiration as they debate legislation, thanks to a large glass dome that will serve as their temporary chamber during renovations on parliament hill.

On Friday, the National Capital Commission quietly approved plans to renovate the West Block on Parliament Hill and build the glass edifice in its courtyard. Members of parliament are set to move into the structure around 2018, when renovations of the Centre Block, including the House of Commons, begin.

The Commons will likely sit under the dome for several years, after which it will be used for committee rooms.

According to renderings of the project, various storage areas and meeting rooms will be housed in the basement, while a public gallery will be built overtop the debating chamber.

The West Block's historic facades and porticos will remain uncovered, providing the walls for the new room.

The block was shut down last month and MPs offices relocated to another building away from Parliament Hill to allow for the start of renovations.

The restoration of the parliament buildings - which are expected to cost billions of dollars, restore crumbling masonry and remove asbestos - have been planned since 2002 and are expected to take more than a decade to complete.

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