Crystal Palace feature has cedar shingles in nod to park’s scaly prehistoric statues

Chris Dyson Architects has completed a new café in south London’s Crystal Palace Park that references recreation space’s famous grade I-listed dinosaur statues.

The two-storey lakeside building is wrapped in half-round cedar shingles, the design of which Dyson said was inspired by the scales on the Victorian-era sculptures on the opposite side of the water.

On the ground floor, the café can seat 60 customers inside with a further 50 outside. It also provides public toilets and a service kiosk. On the first floor, the building offers multi-purpose community space that can seat 60.

The project was funded as part of a £2.4m package of improvements for the park bankrolled by the Greater London Authority and Bromley council. It followed a public consultation in which park users said the old café did not meet their needs.

Dyson’s café opened in April this year. The architect said the venture had created seven full-time jobs and 20 part time jobs and that part of its profits would fund improvements to the rest of the park – including the upkeep of the dinosaur statues.

Restoration work taking place on one of Crystal Palace Park's dinosaur statues in 2016

Source: Historic England

Restoration work taking place on one of Crystal Palace Park’s dinosaur statues in 2016

Project Team

Landscape: Kinnear Landscape Architects

Structural Engineers: The Morton Partnership

M&E Engineers: NLG Associates

QS: Cinns Ltd

Main Contractor: Lengard

Business Case Developer: Counter Culture LLP