Architects have been invited to submit expressions of interest in designing The Crystal Palace as a new cultural destination for London in the spirit, scale and magnificence of the original. Plans to invest £500 million in rebuilding The Crystal Palace and restoring the surrounding public park were announced in October by ZhongRong Group, with the support of the Mayor of London and the Bromley Council.
The new culture-led exhibition and employment space 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 project is expected to create more than 2000 permanent and temporary jobs as well as attracting wider investment into the local high streets and the wider economy.
Architects have been invited to submit an expression of interest by 20 January 2014 in designing The Crystal Palace in a way that is faithful to the spirit of Joseph Paxton’s original. Architects are being asked to demonstrate that their team has the capability and creativity to rise to the challenge of creating an internationally recognised landmark building. Up to five architect teams will be shortlisted in early spring 2014 to prepare a more detailed submission and presentation. Up to three will then be shortlisted 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 will include the ZhongRong Group, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Stephen Hodder, Chair of New London Architecture, Peter Murray, and members of the Advisory Board for The Crystal Palace project, chaired by the Mayor of London and including Leader of Bromley Council Stephen Carr; Hank Dittmar; Sir Tim Smit; Sir John Sorrell CBE; and, Deputy Mayor of London, Ric Blakeway.
Public engagement on The Crystal Palace also continued this week with a public drop-in session in a Crystal Palace café, on Tuesday 10 December, attended by 200 local residents. Comments and thoughts from local people and groups will assist and inform the development of the proposals.
Further information about the architect selection process, which is being run by Colander Associates, can be found at http://www.colander.co.uk/architectural_competitions/crystalpalace.html. Information on The Crystal Palace project is available at www.thelondoncrystalpalace.com.