Attractions industry news

03 Mar 2014

Zaha Hadid in contention to recreate London's Crystal Palace

Zaha Hadid Architects are among six shortlisted candidates vying to rebuild Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace in London on a £500m (US$836m, €607m) budget.

Chinese investor The ZhongRong Group plans to recreate the 19th century’s largest glass structure as a major cultural attraction.

Famous for her futuristic fragmented geometry – including the Mind Zone at the Millenium Dome - Zaha Hadid is to team up with Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor in her proposal.

Other high-profile architects in the running include David Chipperfield Architects, Grimshaw, Haworth Tompkins Architects, Marks Barfield Architects and Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners.

The winning firm will be chosen by a panel run by Colander Associates.

The panel includes The ZhongRhong Group, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects Stephen Hodder and chair of New London Architecture Peter Murray.

Lead consultants Arup will finalise the scheme by stimulating discussion surrounding the project and determining the form and role of the new palace, with final plans to be submitted by the end of 2014.

The original Victorian building was constructed in 1851, however it was destroyed by fire in 1936.

During its 85-year existence, the palace and its grounds became the world's first theme park; offering education, entertainment, a roller-coaster and cricket matches.

It also staged 20 FA Cup finals between 1895 and 1914.

The ZhongRhong Group says the surrounding park will be restored through landscaping and planting, as well as featuring a central tree-lined boulevard.

The development is expected to help boost the local economy by creating over 2,000 permanent jobs.

Ni Zhaoxing, chair of The ZhongRong Group, said: “The expressions of interest and outstanding shortlist demonstrate the wealth and diversity of talent inspired by the challenge of rebuilding the Crystal Palace in the spirit of the magnificent original.”

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