ARUP Press Release (25th February 2014) on architects shortlisted to design The Crystal Palace

This is a copy of the press release sent out by ARUP on 25th February 2014:

Tuesday 25 February 2014

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 the 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 architects to prepare a more detailed submission and presentation:

David Chipperfield Architects
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 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

• 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.

• The 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

Information on The Crystal Palace project is available at

Media contacts
Ben Hurley 07825171810


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