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Crystal Palace Park Regeneration Plans Unveiled

Following an appointment by Bromley Council to lead the first phase of its Crystal Palace Park Regeneration Plan, HTA Design has revealed initial plans for the park, including the restoration of the beloved Grade-I listed dinosaur sculptures, amongst other significant upgrades. This will form part of the wider plan to reinstate the Grade-II* listed park, originally designed by Sir Joseph Paxton in the 1850’s. As a globally significant destination, the plan will deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits to local people and the wider community.

Bromley Council’s £17.50 million regeneration project, which is delivered in partnership with the Crystal Palace Park Trust, will see many of the historic Victorian park’s original features restored. The proposals for the first phase of the Regeneration Plan were submitted for planning by a multidisciplinary team of 20 specialist consultants, led by HTA Design – a leading UK architecture and landscape design practice.

The first phase will look at the Tidal Lakes area, originally designed to both educate and entertain visitors. The new proposals will restore Paxton’s original design vision, harnessing the significant heritage assets of the Geological Court and Paxton Axis.

Key to this phase and to the wider regeneration plan is the restoration of the Geological Court, containing the ‘Crystal Palace Dinosaurs,’ a collection of 30 prehistoric Grade-I listed sculptures and 14 Geological Illustrations. Landscape proposals will see the removal of layers of overgrown vegetation and sediment built up over time to reveal original features. The design will introduce a new layer of rock outcrops, gravel formations and paleo-inspired planting that will enhance the geological narrative, reigniting visitors’ imagination, and the Victorian sense of wonder for pre-history.

Better accessibility and amenities are at the heart of the proposals to ensure all visitors can use and enjoy the park. Included in first phase plans are a new information centre, a dinosaur themed play area, feature entrance at Penge Gate and new maintenance building. This phase will also restore the lower terminus of the Paxton Axis to its full width to better support events and activities in the park. Development of proposals for the Geological Court has been made possible thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The first phase will also see the Italian Terraces, which fell into disrepair after the Crystal Palace was destroyed by the 1936 fire, restored and upgraded. In testament to the scale and grandeur of the original Crystal Palace and park design, the proposals will restore the Grade-II listed terrace walls to allow for improved use of the space for recreation and events. The restoration of the Italian Terraces will bring back some of the original horticultural wonder through biodiverse meadows and species rich grassland planting, while supporting the seasonal events programme for the park.

Natalia Roussou, Landscape Design Director at HTA Design said:

“This is a significant milestone for the Crystal Palace Park Regeneration, not only for restoring its original features, but also creating a park for the future that is climate resilient, biodiverse, inclusive and can cater for a wide range of events and activities. The Phase 1 proposals will celebrate the Geological Court and Italian Terraces, revealing the layers of history in the landscape, and re-establishing an international destination for education and entertainment in line with Paxton’s vision. The landscape design approach maximises park ecosystem service benefits and prioritises accessibility to ensure that the park can be enjoyed by all.”

Councillor Yvonne Bear, Executive Councillor for Renewal, Recreation and Housing, said:

“This is an exciting period in Crystal Palace Park’s history, as we restore many of the park’s beloved features and deliver vital upgrades to ensure that residents and visitors continue to enjoy this great park well into the future. I would like to thank HTA Design, Crystal Palace Park Trust and all the determined local groups and partners who have played a crucial role in bringing this future vision of the park to life.”

Val Shawcross Interim CEO of the Crystal Palace Park Trust said,

‘We are grateful for the inclusive way that HTA have gone about this work, listening to comments and working with us to produce the attractive and practical designs and plans to preserve the park’s important heritage and make it an accessible and enjoyable place to visit.  We hope future generations will enjoy the outcome of this project and that we will see the restoration work begin in earnest in 2025.’

Key Consultant Team:

Lead Consultant and Landscape Architect: HTA Design LLP
Planning Consultant: HTA Design LLP
Energy & Sustainability Consultant: HTA Design LLP
Principal Designer: HTA Design LLP
Wayfinding Consultant: HTA Design LLP
Architect (Heritage): Donald Insall Associates
Architect (New Build): Tate + Co
Project Manager: Leadenhall PM Ltd
Structural Engineer: Alan Baxter
Heritage Consultant: Alan Baxter
Accessibility Consultant: Lord Consulting
Building Control: Stroma
Civil Engineer: Pell Frischmann
Contract Administrator: Ian Sayer
Fire Consultant: Semper
Ecologiy Consultant: Pell Frischmann
Lighting Designer: Speirs Major
M&E Engineer: Desco
Transport Consultant: Pell Frischmann

Published on March 19, 2024

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