London’s Victorian era Crystal Palace will soon be resurrected, thanks to Chinese developer ZhongRong Group and architectural firm Arup. The light-filled glass structure will be rebuilt as a gift to the city of London, bringing back an important landmark that was destroyed by fire in 1936. Arup’s design echoes the original Joseph Paxton-designed building and includes a large, lush park for South East Londoners to enjoy.
The original Crystal Palace was designed for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, London, and moved to the south eastern neighborhood of Bromley shortly after. There it was used as a glittering public building until the fateful fire in 1936 that completely destroyed the landmark. Always regarded as an architectural masterpiece in China, the ZhongRong Group proposed the $800 million project to Bromley officials as a gift to the city.
Arup’s design will restore not only the building, but the 180 acre Crystal Palace landscaped park surrounding it, including a tree-lined boulevard, lushly planted grounds, and beautiful Italian style terraces. The complex will also include a café, visitor center and a restored concert bowl. According to the renders, the glassy light-filled structure emulates its original Victorian splendor, attracting locals and tourists alike as a contemporary cultural destination deeply rooted in history.
The exciting Crystal Palace restoration project will be headed up by an advisory board led by the Mayor of London, to create a project that reflects the design’s deep history while employing modern design practices.