In 1851, when the cast-iron and plate-glass Crystal Palace was erected in London, the prefabricated modular building was considered an architectural marvel. With its lightweight metal frame and glass paned façade, the building had such a groundbreaking design that the general public was initially suspicious of its sturdiness (soldiers were summoned to march across it to show that it was indeed safe). The iconic building was destroyed by fire in 1936, but was never forgotten. In 2013, the Chinese development firm ZhongRong Group announced plans to reconstruct the Crystal Palace on the same site in Hyde Park. Sadly, however, those plans have now been abandoned.
The BBC reported that the development group failed to meet the criteria and 16-month deadline set forth by the Bromley City Council, leading to the termination of the project. Both Zaha Hadid and David Chipperfield had submitted proposals to rebuild the Crystal Palace. According to Arch Daily, "the Council decided to forgo renewing their 'exclusivity agreement' with the developer." Sad news, indeed.
· Bromley Council Abandons Plan to Rebuild Crystal Palace [Arch Daily]