Architects invited to take on £500million Crystal Palace project

PUBLISHED: 11:42 11 December 2013 | UPDATED: 11:42 11 December 2013

An aerial view of how The Crystal Palace will look once completed.

An aerial view of how The Crystal Palace will look once completed.


Architects have been invited to declare their interest in designing the £500million reconstruction of The Crystal Palace.

Unveiled in October, Chinese billionaire Ni Zhaoxing plans to restore the former London landmark back to its past glory and on the original site, in Crystal Palace Park.

Completion of the project is scheduled for 2018 and architects now have until January 20 to express their interest in spearheading the project, working closely to Joseph Paxton’s original design.

Up to three architect teams will be shortlisted in early spring to prepare detailed submissions, including initial concept designs.

The selected team, set to be appointed in the summer, will then work closely with lead consultant Arup to restore the 180 acre site.

More than 2,000 permanent and temporary jobs are set to be created through the project, which mayor of London Boris Johnson describes as a “significant” number.

He added: “Creating a Crystal Palace for the 21st century is a truly unique opportunity. I am confident this search will attract some of the world’s finest creative minds, many of whom we know are home grown talents.

“I look forward with great interest as to how the design selection progresses.”

The selection panel will include Mr Ni’s company, the ZhongRong Group, as well as the president of The Royal Institute of British Architects, Stephen Hodder, and will be chaired by Boris Johnson - as well as the leader of Bromley Council, Stephen Carr.

Cllr Carr said: “Local people rightly want to see the detail and the appointment of architects and design teams will enable some of this detail to come forwards.

“Clearly the appointment will be a ZhongRong decision but I am encouraged by the desire to recruit a team of the highest calibre on a global stage and in quite a demanding short time scale.

“The news underlines ZhongRong’s serious intentions and will ultimately bring about greater clarity which is to be welcomed.”

Public engagement continues on the project, with a drop-in session at the Crystal Palace cafe yesterday allowing residents to voice comments and concerns.

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