Six major architecture firms have been shortlisted in a contest to rebuild Joseph Paxton’s famous Crystal Palace in London that was destroyed by fire in 1936. The list includes three former Stirling Prize winners – Zaha Hadid Architects, David Chipperfield and Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners – alongside Grimshaw, Marks Barfield Achitects and Haworth Tompkins.
The new exhibition venue will be backed by Chinese developer ZhongRong Group and the winning firm will work closely with lead consultant Arup. The contest attracted over 40 architecture practices from around the world, and required a design that would be integrated within the existing masterplan conceived by Latz+Partner. The shortlisted teams will be required to provide conceptual proposals for a building that will be 50m high and 500m long and will recreate the magnificence of the old glass and iron structure.
The new Crystal Palace is expected to become a landmark for the capital and revitalize London’s historic park. The £500 million scheme could create up to 2000 new jobs and revive and support the development of the local area.
The restoration process will be headed up by an advisory board led by the Mayor of London. The winner will be announced in the summer and construction is slated to begin in 2015.