The ambitious and seemingly well-supported plans to reconstruct London’s iconic Crystal Palace have been abandoned. As reported by the BBC, Chinese developer ZhongRong Group, who was leading the project, failed to meet the required criteria and 16-month deadline set by the south London Bromley Council, resulting in the project’s demise.
The original glass palace, designed as a prefabricated modular structure by Sir Joseph Paxton, was built in 1851 at Hyde Park, prior to being relocated to Crystal Palace in 1854. In 1936, the structure was destroyed by fire.
More about the Council's decision, after the break.
ZhongRong Group’s reconstruction efforts planned to restore “the spirit, scale and magnificence of the original,” and even went as far as enlisting six of Britain’s best - including Zaha Hadid and David Chipperfield - to submit proposals last year. However, reports indicated the Council’s concerns about the project’s slow progress. When ZhongRong Group failed to meet the Council’s criteria by its extended deadline, the Council decided to forgo renewing their “exclusivity agreement” with the developer.
Bromley Council leader Stephen Carr stated, “There is a major opportunity here to do something that might really improve the park and provide much needed regeneration locally too. This was why we were prepared to properly listen to what ZhongRong had to say but we were never going to simply say yes to absolutely anything as we need to get this right.
“Now, we will meet with community stakeholders as we have done all the way along this process to review options going forwards. Importantly too, we are continuing to progress plans to improve Crystal Palace Park with an investment in excess of £2 million.”