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#31 Norwood lad

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:14 PM

http://www.propertyw...5058779.article

Residents lash out at Crystal Palace plans
5 August 2013 | By Sarah Townsend

Residents in south-east London have hit out at the mayor and local council for failing to consult them over plans to build an exact replica of the Victorian Crystal Palace that burned down in 1936.

The Crystal Palace Park Community Stakeholders Group last week wrote to the Greater London Authority and Bromley Council to express its concerns.

Property Week revealed last month that a billionaire Chinese developer called ZhongRong Holdings had submitted early stage proposals to reconstruct the palace in what is now Crystal Palace Park.

If progressed, the proposal would allow the mayor of London and Bromley Council to push forward stalled plans to regenerate the rest of the park, which houses the GLA-owned National Sports Centre and its 15,500-seat athletics stadium.

An announcement about the plans is expected in September.

But the stakeholders group, a not-for-profit association that represents local residents and businesses and is working alongside the council to regenerate the park, is furious it was not made aware of the proposals earlier.

In its letter to the GLA and Bromley Council, it said: “We refer to [Bromley’s] blind copied email, circulated on the afternoon of 25 July. This stated that Bromley is having “a very early conversation with a developer who may be interested in developing the so-called top site”.

“[We] were surprised and disappointed to be informed of this development in this way. Not least because it appears that the announcement was driven by a desire to pre-empt a news story in Property Week and not to keep the community informed.

“Moreover, this revelation and the way it was made stands in stark contrast to the recent flow of information between Bromley, [ourselves] and other groups, which has developed over the past 18 months.

“This departure raises questions of trust and good faith between Bromley, the GLA and the wider community.”

Previous plans by Bromley to redevelop the park have been opposed by local residents who wish to protect it from new development, in particular new housing on the park. The new plans are understood not to include housing for this reason.

Bromley Council insisted last month that the talks with the developer were strictly confidential.

#32 charlie

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:32 PM

And from The Huffington Post Blog

 

The Chinese Are Coming - to London SE19?

 

 

"The latest twin posters in The Economist's 'Where do you stand?' advertising campaign argue why Chinese investment in Africa is and/or is not a good thing. The Chinese are doing more than Western donors to bring down poverty in Africa - or they are bolstering oppressive regimes and ignoring working conditions. Where do you stand?

 

The adverts are designed, of course, to make you realise that The Economist is the magazine for people (like you) who are smart enough to understand that there are always (at least) two sides to an issue.

 

But the benefits, or otherwise, of the economic super-power's intervention have suddenly become an issue in, of all places, London SE19, which happens to be the suburb where I live. This is intervention not actually by the Chinese government but by one of its richest citizens. The Shanghai-based development company, ZhongRong Holdings, owned by billionaire Ni Zhaoxing, is promising/threatening to build an exact replica of the Victorian Crystal Palace which stood in Crystal Palace Park until it was burnt down in 1936.

 

The story appeared first in Property Week and was followed up by the national and London media. Discussions are apparently at an early stage (with local super-power, the Greater London Authority, and park owners, Bromley Council) but the company aims to submit a planning application this year.

 

Naturally the twittersphere took off - with mixed but not necessarily balanced or informed views (perhaps we don't have enough Economist readers round here). Some thought it was a great opportunity to recreate lost glory, others that it was a crass intervention by developers who knew nothing of the area. I contributed. My first reaction was that it was rather shoddy relationship management to leak the story to the press (as I suspected the GLA or Bromley had done) before telling the community stakeholder group set up to advise the authorities on local views. The group wasn't best pleased.

 

A few days on, I've given it further thought. Crystal Palace in its day was very much a statement building: it said a great deal about Victorian wealth and power and showmanship. ZhongRong Holdings are, we're told, responsible for quite a few of the buildings in the Pudong district of Shanghai. Fabulous or brash? I've seen them and actually they're both. They also say quite a lot about modern Chinese wealth and power and showmanship....

 

So if a planning application comes in, what should be the response? Well for what it's worth, I don't think a 21st century pastiche of the 19th century Crystal Palace is a good idea - for architecture, for the local community, or for London.

 

First, it's not at all clear what would go inside such a massive building. Apparently not housing - but bars, restaurants, casinos? Or is someone planning an 1851-style Great Exhibition? There's perhaps a lesson from the Millennium Dome: don't put up showy big buildings unless you know what they're going to be used for.

 

Second, there is a perfectly good 'master plan' for the regeneration of Crystal Palace Park, whose approval has been tested in the courts and which envisages a new museum and much general sprucing up of the neglected park with its lakes, stone dinosaurs and wide open spaces at the top of London. It also allows for other small-scale building (lots of ideas already) and a very small amount of housing round the park fringe - no bad thing for all sorts of reasons, although some people are shirty about the idea.

 

Thirdly, if ZhongRong Holdings want to re-build Crystal Palace, they're going to need a new act of parliament. The current 1990 law limits the size of building permitted in the park. And given the recent history of Crystal Palace Park and previous plans to regenerate it (locals are very keen on exercising their democratic rights and are in and out of the high court like a yo-yo), the Chinese might think twice about promoting something which may not be wholly popular.

 

But if Mr Zhaoxing would really like to invest in our area, then many of us are flattered by his interest. And there are alternatives to a new 'Crystal Palace' . Perhaps he - or his agent - should come along and talk."



#33 John Greatrex

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:23 AM

Attached File  images.jpg   12.95KB   8 downloads

 

 

Chinese Ancestor in Original Crystal Palace ?



#34 Norwood lad

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 09:30 AM

http://www.bdonline....5058927.article   Crystal Palace: 'It's an inspiration not a blueprint'

12 August 2013 | By Brian Eckersley

1769182_Crystal_Palace_General_view_from
 

A structural engineer argues that the Chinese/Arup plans to rebuild Crystal Palace are misguided

Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace is a legendary building, venerated by generations of architects and engineers. It was an astonishing achievement to have conceived, designed and built it in less than one year.

Brian-Eckersley-web-c-Tom-Mille_260.jpg

Source: © Tom Miller

Brian Eckersley

This was made possible by Paxton, and his engineers and fabricators, working at the very limits of the available technology of their day. Its construction was fully modular, starting with the biggest piece of cast glass which could be procured and working out from that. Prefabrication and mechanisation was employed to an extent never seen before, and the result was incredibly cheap.

So my heart sinks to learn that its re-construction has moved a step closer. Its loss through fire in 1936 was a very sad event, but to replicate it in the 21st Century seems like a poor use of the world’s resources and imagination.

The need to comply with modern regulations as well as the irresistible temptation to improve on the original will doubtless ensure that its re-execution will lack the delicacy and pragmatism of its predecessor, on which its success depended.

Paxton’s Crystal Palace should be an inspiration, not a blueprint. If there is a need for a glazed building over half a km long and 140m wide then sure, let’s build one. But it should be a worthy successor to Paxton’s original, embodying that single minded spirit of construction innovation in glass which made it remarkable.

A new Crystal Palace should be the most advanced structure that we can possibly achieve with glass right now. Let’s not waste our time with anything else.

 
Postscript:

Brian Eckersley is a director of structural and facade engineer Eckersley O’Callaghan, which is known for its expertise in glass.



#35 Elmo

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 08:55 PM

Nice piece and I agree completely...

This is the best proposal I've seen for the top site, and it has my 100% support:
http://www.croydongu...crystal_palace/
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#36 John Greatrex

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 06:54 PM

Dear Elmo,

 

Does Mr Wilkinson's pod design for the top-site, which has your 100% support, comply with the planning regulations regarding the height restriction placed on any topsite structure since the erection of the transmitter? 



#37 John Greatrex

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:57 PM

Dear Brian,

Thank you for your interesting article.

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on the northern boundary of Southwark was an inspiration and remained so even after it burned down in 1613.

Its proposed reconstruction in the late 20th century, by someone beyond this emerald isle, was considered unnecessary by many and no doubt ' a poor use of the world's resources' by its vocal detractors.

It was, however, a jewel of the first Elizabethan Age and due to the doggedness of Sam-Sam-Wanner-Maker-A -Theatre-Man, it sparkles again.


Now, on the southern boundary of Southwark lie the remains of Paxton's second Crystal Palace - the architectural flower of the Victorian Age.

Paxton's first, temporary 1851 Crystal Palace was dismantled and saved for future generations to visit, to use and to admire by being erected in a more permanent (but taller and costlier) 1854 reincarnation.

The constructors used their own Construction Manual, published in 1852 to create this bigger Paxton Crystal Palace.

Provided any future constructor remain faithful to this same architectural/engineering manual used in the 1850s and reproduced by the V&A in 1971 for £6) then the construction of another Paxton Crystal Palace need not "lack the delicacy and pragmatism of its predecessor".

Of course, just as the second Crystal Palace was not the same length, width and height as the first one, its "faithful reconstruction" does not have to be "half a km long and 140m wide".

A "faithful reconstruction" of a corner of Paxton's Crystal Palace (22ft high made of cast iron) has already been erected on the hilltop site back in 2008 by my company.

I would happy to discuss the faithful, delicate and pragmatic construction of a future Paxton Crystal Palace with anyone here or abroad who would like to see some more Paxton designed Crystal Palace Parts than just this current petal of his architectural flower planted on a South London green hill.

Yours sincerely,

John Greatrex
MD Great Exhibitions Ltd
'exhibits great exhibits'

07528 685888

Company Number 02100255

 



#38 Norwood lad

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 09:17 PM

If the Wilkinonson Eyre proposal you say is to tall why then would this reconstructed palace your waxing lyrical about be any different. Surely that would be even taller and bigger so how would that get past the planning regulations regarding the height restriction?

#39 John Greatrex

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 02:55 PM

Dear Norwood Lad,

 

'Yes' to sentence one.- it would be within the height restriction of 22.5m.

 

'No' to the first clause in sentence two, because it would not be as tall as the wilko-trifid-pod. 

 

Best wishes,

 

John G .



#40 Norwood lad

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 04:36 PM

Thanks for confirming things John. So there is no chance this rebuild will happen if the original one was about 40m high this would have to be half the height to get under the transmitter restrictions so this will be little more than an enormous shed.

P.S Take the tripod over a pastiche copy any day, but hey that's just my opinion ;)

#41 Elmo

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:27 PM

Agree. The spirit of adventurousness and a clear eye to the future us what I like about the pod... If there's a problem with that particular design, then so be it. But whatever structure goes there should be forward thinking.
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#42 John Greatrex

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:12 PM

Attached File  $(KGrHqVHJCMFBrYq0WiOBQj3ReB!4w~~60_351.jpg   11.59KB   3 downloadsAttached File  $(KGrHqVHJCMFBrYq0WiOBQj3ReB!4w~~60_351.jpg   11.59KB   3 downloadsGentlemen,

 

Paxton's original design for his Crystal Palace came in at just under 22.5m.

 

It was published in mid-1850 by The Illustrated London News.

 

A curvy bit in the middle was added later as an afterthought to cover some trees.

 

Paxton's Crystal Palace Corner is 22ft high, so it would be perfectly practical to create a structure three times that height made out of further Paxton designed Crystal Palace Parts and still remain within the planning regulations (even if you chose to locate it on the top-site).

 

Yours respectfully

 

John G 



#43 Norwood lad

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:39 AM

That's right John, if rebuilt it wont be the Crystal Palace but the Hyde park shed so it would essentially be a leisure and conference/ retail shed.

Do you have a link to this height restriction? Also aren't the transmission from the tower quite powerful so wouldn't they be quite damaging to the health of say hotel guest to this new shed?

#44 John Greatrex

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:24 AM

Dear Lad of the Northwood

 

"...if rebuilt..."  Paxton's Crystal Palace does not have to be rebuilt to create a Paxton designed 21st Century structure using further Paxton Crystal Palace Parts.

 

"...the Hyde Park shed..."  I am impressed with your detailed knowledge of the first 1850 description of Paxton's great glasshouse erected to house The Great Exhibition.

 

"...so it would essentially be..."  I personally don't think it need "be a leisure and conference / retail shed".

 

"...hotel guests..." Who is talking about a hotel? I'm not.

 

"...height restriction..."  Ask you local, friendly council planning department to verify this stipulation. I'm sure I read it somewhere back in the mid1980s when Bromley first took over responsibility for the park from the disbanded GLC.

 

Looking to the future for a moment - June 8th 2015 is the 150th anniversary of Paxton's death. I think it would be quite nice to have a little bit more of Paxton's design in place by then - something in the spirit and style of his original, for forward looking architects  to be inspired by as they create their own 21st century glass boxes elsewhere.

 

Yours hopefully

 

John G  



#45 jamesl

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:31 PM

I appreciate your passion John but the ZhongWrong proposal will have none of the grandeur and spirit of the old CP, whether the HP version or Paxton's adventurous and bold redesign. I think the Wilkinson Eyre design would meet his approval. Stylish, contraversial, quirky, loved/loathed, landmark etc . It suits the area and its people. And let's face it the transmitter dominates the skyline, is not conventionally aesthetic but I love it as I think do most. A cutting edge viewing platform, generating income which could support the museum and work.on the terraces soundd like a plan to me And forgive my ignorance but weren't the water towers for the fountains much higher than the palace itself ?





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