As a Friend of Crystal Palace Park you will, no doubt, be aware that a Chinese developer has put forward a £500,000,000 plan to rebuild The Crystal Palace on the top site of the park.
Mr Ni of the Zhong Rong Corporation, who has commissioned Ove Arup to take the plans forward, says that the design brief is ‘To create a new and exciting destination’. Boris Johnson has said that the new building would ‘respect the past but look to the future.’ To what degree the proposed building will resemble the original is unknown at this stage, and it is unclear which parts will be open to the general public.
The Evening Standard reported recently that a short list of six leading architect practices had now been invited to submit plans including those of Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers and Nicholas Grimshaw.
Planning permission for the chosen scheme will be sought in autumn 2014, with intention of work starting on site in 2015 and completing in 2018. Quite a contrast to the erection of the original Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, which took less than nine months. The Zhong Rong Group (ZRG) have asked Bromley Council for 125 year lease with 100% control of the land and building before committing to the proposed development.
The plans would also require the repeal of the 1990 Crystal Palace Act, which restricts construction on the park; as the park is also designated as Open Metropolitan Land, there is a potential threat to such land elsewhere.
Public consultation is still taking place. As a group, Friends of Crystal Palace Park is neutral at this stage. However we aim to represent our members and invite you now to let us have your views on the project.