Architects invited to register interest in designing new Crystal Palace

Streatham Guardian: Chinese billionaire Ni Zhaoxing's plans include lots of space for community use Chinese billionaire Ni Zhaoxing's plans include lots of space for community use

Designing a Crystal Palace which evokes the spirit of the original while being fit for the future is no mean feat.

But the job is up for grabs, with ZhongRong Group wanting to hear from any architects who think they can take on the challenge.

Anyone interested in creating a landmark in the spirit of Joseph Paxton’s original, has until January 20 to express their interest to the property developer.

A short list of three architect teams will then be drawn up in the spring, when the trio will be invited to prepare a detailed submission including initial concept designs.

The selected architect who will be appointed in the summer, will work closely with the lead consultant Arup.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "Creating a Crystal Palace for the 21st century is a truly unique opportunity.

"I am confident this search will attract some of the world's finest creative minds, many of whom we know are home grown talents.

"The key to the success of this exciting regeneration project, which is set to generate a significant number of jobs in London, is high quality design working in harmony with the rich heritage of this historic site."

Bromley Council leader Councillor Stephen Carr, who is on the architect selection panel, said: "Local people rightly want to see the detail and the appointment of architects and design teams will enable some of this detail to come forwards.

"Clearly the appointment will be a ZhongRong decision but I am encouraged by the desire to recruit a team of the highest calibre on a global stage and in quite a demanding short time scale."

The project aims to rebuild the famous Crystal Palace, including the historic Italian terraces, the underpass, the dinosaur trail and maze.

There are also plans to include hotel facilities, exhibition spaces, education facilities and open up spaces for community use.

Ni Zhaoxing, chairman of the ZhongRong Group said: "The former Crystal Palace is a symbol of innovation and inventiveness and a source of great inspiration across the world.

"We are seeking an outstanding and exciting design team to rise to the challenge of harnessing the spirit of the original and bringing it back to life in The Crystal Palace for this and future generations of local people and international visitors."

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