Architects have been invited to submit expressions of interest in designing The Crystal Palace as a new cultural destination for London in the "spirit, scale and magnificence of the original".
Plans to invest £500 million in rebuilding The Crystal Palace and restoring the surrounding public park were announced in October by ZhongRong Group, with the support of the Mayor of London and the Bromley Council.
About one-fifth (100m) of the promised investment has been earmarked for the restoration of the park to its original Victorian design.
Architects have been invited to submit an expression of interest by 20 January 2014 in designing The Crystal Palace in a way that is faithful to the spirit of Joseph Paxton’s original.
Architects are being asked to demonstrate that their team has the "capability and creativity to rise to the challenge of creating an internationally recognised landmark building".
Up to five architect teams will be shortlisted in early spring 2014 to prepare a more detailed submission and presentation. Up to three will then be shortlisted to prepare initial concept designs in the final competition stage.
The selected architect, due to be appointed in the summer, will work closely with the lead consultant Arup.
The selection panel will include the ZhongRong Group, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Stephen Hodder, Chair of New London Architecture, Peter Murray, and members of the Advisory Board for The Crystal Palace project, chaired by the Mayor of London and including Leader of Bromley Council Stephen Carr; Hank Dittmar; Sir Tim Smit; Sir John Sorrell CBE; and, Deputy Mayor of London, Ric Blakeway.
Radical proposals which focus on the creation of a legacy trust to fund the ongoing maintenance of Crystal Palace Park are being discussed as full restoration of the park is thought likely to increase the annual maintenance cost to approximately £1m.Further information about the architect selection process, which is being run by Colander Associates, can be found at http://www.colander.co.uk/architectural_competitions/crystalpalace.html
ZhongRong has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Bromley Council as the landowner.
A planning application could be submitted as early as winter 2014 ahead of work starting on site in winter 2015.