ZhongRong International Group has launched a three-stage competition to identify architectural teams to design the new Crystal Palace. The first step of the competition, which is being managed by Colander, is to ask teams to come forward with expressions of interest (EOI) by 12 noon on Monday 20 January 2014. It is expected that the long-list of Stage 2 competitors will be announced in w/c 24 February 2014. Short-listed Stage 2 competitors will be invited to attend a briefing session in w/c 10 March 2014, at the Arup offices in London.
According to ZhongRong and Colander, the challenge posed is to reconstruct the Crystal Palace in a way that is faithful to the spirit of the original, in all its ingenuity, scale and magnificence, to create an internationally recognised landmark building. This will include:
- A strong relationship between the Palace and the park
- A permanent structure with a similar footprint to the original Palace
- A translucent and delicate structure, as was the original building
- An adaptable and flexible internal space, guided by the internal spatial qualities of the original Palace
- Active facades
- Design solutions that are responsive to the surrounding heritage landscape
- A long term sustainable role for both the Palace and the park
- The new building will be a cultural centre of international standing, responding to modern-day requirements for social, economic and environmental sustainability It will benefit both the local area and London as a global city, through an awe-inspiring design.
The launch of the Stage 3 design competition is scheduled for June 2014, and is expected to last six to eight weeks, with a winner being announced in August 2014. The winner will be expected to start work immediately.
The process by which the winning architect is identified will involve a Jury Panel and an advisory Technical Panel. ZhongRong International Group will be involved throughout the competition process and will have the final say in the selection of the architects.
ZhongRong-Arup has been undertaking public consultation about the £400m project, including whether a replica or modern equivalent is preferred.