Shanghai-based developer ZhongRong Holdings is working with Arup on an ambitious proposal to reconstruct Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace in London. Originally built to house the Great Exhibition of 1851, the 80,000 square-meter cast iron and glass structure was relocated from Hyde Park to south-east London in 1854 where it was ultimately destroyed by fire in 1936.
Though discussions between all parties “remain at a very early feasibility stage,” as the Mayor of London stated, it has been confirmed that no residential development will be included in the proposal and the public will be involved before any final consensus is made. This statement is in regards to the 1990 Act of Parliament, which specifies that any new construction on the site "must be in the spirit of Paxton's original building” and has prevented a number of proposals from being developed in the past.
If constructed, ZhongRong Holdings’ Crystal Palace replica would include a public space for exhibitions and events, as well as retail space and cafes.