Crystal Palace Park Project: drop-in sessions this Saturday

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Tim Lund
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Re: Crystal Palace Park Project: drop-in sessions this Satur

Post by Tim Lund »

And the announcement in full:

Renowned architects shortlisted to design The Crystal Palace

Six renowned architect practices offering a diverse range of approaches have been shortlisted in the next stage of the competition to select an architect to design The Crystal Palace as a new cultural destination for London in the spirit, scale and magnificence of the original.

Plans to invest £500 million in rebuilding The Crystal Palace and restoring the surrounding public park were announced in October 2013 by ZhongRong Group, with the support of the Mayor of London and Bromley Council.

The new culture-led exhibition and employment space, which is set to create up to two thousand jobs and revitalise the local economy, will sit at the top of the 180-acre Crystal Palace Park in south London. It will incorporate the listed Italian style terraces, and other Victorian heritage within the park, fully restored for the public.

The selection panel for the competition to design this unique landmark project evaluated expressions of interest from almost 40 leading practices from across the world. The panel shortlisted the following six architect practices to prepare a more detailed submission and presentation:
  • David Chipperfield Architects
  • Grimshaw
  • Haworth Tompkins Architects
  • Marks Barfield Architects
  • Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
  • Zaha Hadid Architects with Anish Kapoor
Up to three teams from this shortlist will be invited to prepare initial concept designs in the final competition stage. The selected architect, due to be appointed in the summer, will work closely with the lead consultant Arup.

The selection panel includes the ZhongRong Group; President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Stephen Hodder; Chair of New London Architecture, Peter Murray; London Borough of Bromley Councillor, Peter Morgan; Hank Dittmar; Sir Tim Smit; Sir John Sorrell CBE; and, Deputy Mayor of London, Ric Blakeway. The selection process is being run by Colander Associates.

Chairman of the ZhongRong Group Mr Ni Zhaoxing, said: “This is a positive step forward for the project. The expressions of interest and outstanding shortlist demonstrate the wealth and diversity of design talent inspired by the challenge of rebuilding The Crystal Palace in the spirit of the magnificent original.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “This is a stellar line-up of talent demonstrating the world-wide interest in this unique and challenging project. The rebuild of The Crystal Palace is set to produce an extraordinary new landmark for the capital, which will support the rebirth of this historic park and catalyse jobs and growth in the local area.”

The Crystal Palace – further information
  • The original Crystal Palace was designed by Joseph Paxton for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, in 1854 it was expanded and relocated to South London. The area became known as Crystal Palace.
  • The innovative Palace was the largest glass structure in the world before being destroyed by a fire in 1936. Most of the original site is now unused by the public with a small section used for small-scale temporary events.
  • An Act of Parliament in 1990 specified that any new building erected on its site must be ‘in the spirit of Paxton’s original building’.
  • It is planned that The Crystal Palace will update the innovative, translucent and delicate structure of the original along with its size and scale, which will be approximately the length of five football pitches and six storeys high (approximately 50m high and 500m long)
  • The high-quality design and construction of the new structure is essential to recognise and celebrate the heritage of the park, which includes a number of listed features. The unique Victorian heritage within the park will be restored, including the Italian style terraces, the unique underpass, dinosaur models and maze.
  • The Crystal Palace will be a new cultural visitor attraction for London with detailed plans to be developed, which will include free public and world-leading international exhibitions and events.
  • ZhongRong is committed to funding the restoration of the park and the development of The Crystal Palace, which it is anticipated will include a hotel and conference facilities, studios, galleries and other commercial space.
  • The investor has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Bromley Council as the landowner. A planning application could be submitted as early as winter 2014 ahead of work starting on site in winter 2015.
  • he project is expected to create more than 2000 permanent and temporary jobs as well as attracting wider investment into the local high streets and wider economy.
Further information about the architect selection process, which is being run by Colander Associates, can be found at ... alace.html

Information on The Crystal Palace project is available at
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Re: Crystal Palace Park Project: drop-in sessions this Satur

Post by Lois »

Thank you for posting all that info Tim.

I just visited the CP Campaign web site and discovered that a questionnaire was handed out at the December drop in: ... nnaire.pdf

Apparently there were not enough of these for everyone.
The questions are not that comprehensive but does anyone think that any of us planning on attending the March drop in should print off a batch to take along?
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Re: Crystal Palace Park Project: drop-in sessions this Satur

Post by paultreacy »

I'll make a few copies and hope to attend.

- Paul.
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Re: Crystal Palace Park Project: drop-in sessions this Satur

Post by Lois »

I will too.
Wondered if it would be too late but it would be bad form if they said that!

Question 8 says:
How would you like to be engaged with and or consulted about the project?

The options are:
Drop-in Sessions
Public Meetings (Hoping they don't claim that the Drop-in sessions are just that)
The London Crystal Palace website
Via Local Community Groups
Via my Local Business Chamber of Commerce
Through my Local Authority

I would be happy to check all of those options but maybe it would send more of a message if a lot of us just checked the Public Meetings and Local Authority options.
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Re: Crystal Palace Park Project: drop-in sessions this Satur

Post by Lois »

Question 9 says:
Do you have any further comments about the proposal?

There are only three lines after that question and then about a further 4cm of space below that.
Just thought that I would point this out as people attending the meeting who use this forum could print it out and fill it in and put their further comments on a separate page stapled to the questionnaire.

If typed out rather than hand written they may stand a better chance of being read?
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Re: Crystal Palace Park Project: drop-in sessions this Satur

Post by leenewham »

I hope they say what the brief is to the architects, because there doesn't appear to be one.

'Build something that has the spirit of the Crystal Palace and can be used for stuff' isn't a brief.
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Re: Crystal Palace Park Project: drop-in sessions this Satur

Post by Nigel »

If this constitutes flaming or flambéing then apologies in advance to the excellent Admin.
I am bemused at Tim's strangely wide-eyed support for this project .
Generally if a group of locals or Sydenham Society decide to do something to improve Sydenham ,Tim is usually the first to question their motivation - to say the very least .
It is interesting how he has cast not a single snipe at a crowd of property developers , GLA, consultants and Bromley Councillors .
I admit there are some impressive academic qualifications on those CVs but it puzzles me .

I am sure it will more housing and retail in its ambit than most of us believe . I really hope that people are not bamboozled by people who think they no better.

In my ignorance I would currently vote for the faded neglected park as it is than the exploited and congested mess I believe this company will leave us with.

Good evening
Tim Lund
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Re: Crystal Palace Park Project: drop-in sessions this Satur

Post by Tim Lund »

Nigel - I think that was a bit off-topic, but I guess you could sum up my position as not seeing England as a museum of neglected parkland.
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Re: Crystal Palace Park Project: drop-in sessions this Satur

Post by Lois »

Just back from the drop-in today at the Lodge.
Far too many people for the space at the Lodge!!! Couldn't get a look in but judging from some of the comments afterwards it doesn't seem as though we missed much.

But did manage to get a seat for the history talk which was most interesting and has given me more ideas for my latest framing project for pictures for my hallway :)

There was another, slightly more detailed questionnaire and there did seem to be enough copies for everyone who wanted one. There were more people there who were open to the idea of a new building than I had expected.

I should think you already know this but just in case you don't, I was informed by Jerome Frost that the selection of six architects will be whittled down to three and then those architect firms will hold meetings with the public before submitting their initial designs to Arup.
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Re: Crystal Palace Park Project: drop-in sessions this Satur

Post by SE19 »

As pointed out by Arup, Bromley Council's Local Plan Draft Policies and Designations documents are published for open public consultation to 24 March 2014 CLOSING DATE.

These Policy changes were noted as “not a light change” but “substantial”. It includes comments for various aspects of Crystal Palace, including MOL designation changes.

See: ... ?tab=files

This link has the following Policy and Supporting Documents:

Local Plan Draft Policies and Designations Consultation.pdf - POLICY CHANGES
Suggested Changes to MOL and UOS Boundaries.pdf - MOL CHANGES
Suggested Changes to GB Boundary.pdf - GREEN BELT CHANGES
Bromley EQIA_HIA Report 140213.pdf - Equality Impact Assessment
Complete Bromley Interim SA Report 140214.pdf
Local Plan Draft Policies and Designations Consultation Comment Response Form.docx

POLICY CHANGES: ... c?tab=info
This link has the email and contact details for comments.

This forms a key stage in the development of Bromley’s ‘new style’ Local Plan which together with the London Plan will form the Development Plan for the Borough. The Local Plan will set out the vision and objectives for the next 15 years and the planning policies to support their delivery.

Consultation for Crystal Palace in the Mayor's London Plan for SOLDC (end date 10th April 2014) ... nuary-2014

As I understand both these sets of documents include the proposed policy framework or changes that will underpin development at Crystal Palace. Both sets of documents are open for consultation responses.

Sid Nam
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Re: Crystal Palace Park Project: drop-in sessions this Satur

Post by Sid Nam »

I made the afternoon session and was alarmed to see a pie chart of skewed statistics claiming 54% of correspondents supported the scheme. Arup reps were asked how the data had been accumulated, it was explained that the completed forms from the first drop in had been taken as approving the scheme, even though it has since been accepted that they were flawed for not taking no for an answer.

The 54% figure was taken from 400 completed forms of which 170 have been incorrectly analysed. The analysis of the rest of the forms took indication of support for some sort of development as approval of the ZRG scheme, when it was not intended as such. We should expect nothing else when the surveys and their interpretation are carried out by the developers handsomely paid agent.

Arup were still giving out last year's out of date glossy brochure with the misleading, fantasy images. When questioned about the lack of information about the drop in events the line was that posters in CP train station and around the park and information on the web page was considered adequate. Very poor show given this is a £500m project backed by an oil, real estate and diamond tycoon and the Chinese Government.

Arup still don't have a clue what the purpose of the building will be and admitted that the architects will be 'working up' proposals without a brief. It remains unclear when that brief will be be made public and who/what the anchor tenant/s will be but one thing that was clear is that the museum and art gallery section will be ancillary to the main function of the building which will be combination of trade, retail, hotel and leisure on a scale not seen before.

And if this thing doesn't work as a tourist attraction as it's unable to generate high volume of visitors needed to sustain it, then it will need to be turned into something that does. Something that would be a much harder sell than a "culture centre".
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Re: Crystal Palace Park Project: drop-in sessions this Satur

Post by SE19 »

For those of you that were unable to get to the drop-in sessions on Saturday, you can watch the presentation and listen to the Q & A' s kindly recorded by Sue and Jules of the Subway team by following the link below:

Development community drop-in 1st March 2014
The video shows Jerome Frost giving his presentation of an update on the development since the drop-in on 1st February.

The audio clips are the question and answer sessions. These are edited to include questions that were asked during the presentations as well as after the presentations as part of the Q&A sessions. Where edits have been made there is a clear pause in the recording.

For completion, here is link to event of the 1st February 2014 from Anerley:

The main ZRG home page: h[url]ttp://http//[/url] (eg for news of the latest “Drop in” events)

ZRG architect’s competition web site for “The Brief”: ... alace.html

This site has latest Emerging Design Principles.

On the COMPETITION FORMAT page it notes: “this website is the only valid source of information for this stage of the competition and latest".

Stage 1– Expressions of Interest
Expressions of interest are required by 12 noon on Monday 20 January 2014.
It is expected that the long-list of Stage 2 competitors will be announced in w/c 24 February 2014.

Stage 2– Short-listing
The Stage 2 competitors will embrace a range of diverse design philosophies, so that the Jury Panel can explore different approaches that could successfully ‘replicate the spirit and design integrity of the original Crystal Palace’.

Stage 2 competitors will be invited to attend a briefing session in w/c 10 March 2014, at the Arup offices in London. Details will be sent to all Stage 2 competitors.
Written submissions from Stage 2 competitors will be required by the end of March 2014. Interviews are expected to take place in mid-April 2014. Each competitor will be allocated one hour for presentations and discussion. It is expected that the short-list of Stage 3 competitors taking part in the design competition will be announced in May 2014.

Stage 3 – Design Competition
The launch of the Stage 3 design competition is scheduled for June 2014, and is expected to last 6 to 8 weeks, with a winner being announced in August 2014. The winner will be expected to start work immediately

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