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London Crystal Palace shortlist boasts six of the UK’s top architects
Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014 |

London's iconic Crystal Palace just moved one step closer to its magnificent resurrection with the announcement of six shortlisted design teams, all vying to rebuild The Crystal Palace and the surrounding public park as a major landmark.

The list of selected architects to move on to the next competition stage reads like a who's who in British architecture:

  • David Chipperfield Architects
  • Grimshaw
  • Haworth Tompkins Architects
  • Marks Barfield Architects
  • Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
  • Zaha Hadid Architects with Anish Kapoor

Read on for more information about the selection and the Crystal Palace architectural competition.

Illustration of the reconstructed Crystal Palace

Click above image to view slideshow
Illustration of the reconstructed Crystal Palace

"Plans to invest £500 million in rebuilding The Crystal Palace and restoring the surrounding public park were announced in October 2013 by ZhongRong Group, with the support of the Mayor of London and the Bromley Council.

The new culture-led exhibition and employment space, which is set to create up to two thousand jobs and revitalise the local economy, will sit at the top of the 180-acre Crystal Palace Park in south London. It will incorporate the listed Italian style terraces, and other Victorian heritage within the park, fully restored for the public.

The selection panel for the competition to design this unique landmark project evaluated expressions of interest from almost 40 leading practices from across the world."

Illustration of the reconstructed Crystal Palace

Click above image to view slideshow
Illustration of the reconstructed Crystal Palace

"Up to three teams from this shortlist will be invited to prepare initial concept designs in the final competition stage. The selected architect, due to be appointed in the summer, will work closely with the lead consultant Arup.

The selection panel includes the ZhongRong Group; President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Stephen Hodder; Chair of New London Architecture, Peter Murray; London Borough of Bromley Councillor, Peter Morgan; Hank Dittmar; Sir Tim Smit; Sir John Sorrell CBE; and, Deputy Mayor of London, Ric Blakeway. The selection process is being run by Colander Associates. [...]

The Crystal Palace – further information

  • The original Crystal Palace was designed by Joseph Paxton for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, in 1854 it was expanded and relocated to South London. The area became known as Crystal Palace.
  • The innovative Palace was the largest glass structure in the world before being destroyed by a fire in 1936. Most of the original site is now unused by the public with a small section used for small-scale temporary events.
  • An Act of Parliament in 1990 specified that any new building erected on its site must be ‘in the spirit of Paxton’s original building’.
  • It is planned that the Crystal Palace will update the innovative, translucent and delicate structure of the original along with its size and scale, which will be approximately the length of five football pitches and six storeys high (approximately 50m high and 500m long)
  • The high-quality design and construction of the new structure is essential to recognise and celebrate the heritage of the park, which includes a number of listed features. The unique Victorian heritage within the park will be restored, including the Italian style terraces, the unique underpass, dinosaur models and maze.
  • The Crystal Palace will be a new cultural visitor attraction for London with detailed plans to be developed, which will include free public and world-leading international exhibitions and events.
  • ZhongRong is committed to funding the restoration of the park and the development of The Crystal Palace, which it is anticipated will include a hotel and conference facilities, studios, galleries and other commercial space.
  • The investor has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Bromley Council as the landowner. A planning application could be submitted as early as winter 2014 ahead of work starting on site in winter 2015.
  • The project is expected to create more than 2000 permanent and temporary jobs as well as attracting wider investment into the local high streets and wider economy."

Images courtesy of the ZhongRong Group.



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