Boris Johnson at the helm of new Crystal Palace design advisory board

Building Design reports that Boris Johnson has been appointed as head of the design advisory board for the rebuild of The Crystal Palace. 

Hank Dittmar and Sir John Sorrell also appointed to advise on architect appointment.

London mayor Boris Johnson is to chair a board of experts who will advise on the design of £500 million plans to restore The Crystal Palace and the surrounding park.

Other board members include special adviser to Prince Charles and BD columnist Hank Dittmar and London Design Festival chairman Sir John Sorrell.

Chinese developer ZhongRong Group intends to rebuild The Crystal Palace, which burnt down in 1936, to create a “major new cultural destination” with exhibition and employment space.

The 73-hectare park will be restored to its original Victorian design with listed Italian-style terraces and a concert bowl retained alongside a new cafe and visitor centre.

 “The Crystal Palace was a beacon of innovation in the 19th century, encapsulating a spirit of invention which was to shape London and the world for generations to come,” said Johnson.

“Since the iconic building was destroyed, the conundrum of what to do with the crumbling site has not been successfully resolved. Today’s announcement marks an exciting new chapter for Crystal Palace Park.”

Landowner Bromley Council is considering a request for an exclusivity agreement made by ZhongRong Group. A planning application could be made in the autumn of next year to allow construction to start at the end of 2015.

ZhongRong Group chairman Ni Zhaoxing described the project as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to bring the palace “back to life”.

More details about the plans can be found at the project website.


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