Practice wins £17.5m scheme to spruce up historic park as part of council’s wider restoration plans

HTA Design has won the job to restore Crystal Palace Park’s much-loved dinosaur sculptures.

The £17.5m job for Bromley Council is part of a larger scheme which will see the practice restore many of the historic park’s original features, including the site of the former Crystal Palace.

The park’s Italian Terraces will also be transformed into event space and a playground will be added to the park’s Penge entrance.

The famously anatomically inaccurate dinosaur sculptures were installed in 1854 following the relocation of the Crystal Palace to the park after the Great Exhibition, which had been held in Hyde Park the previous year.

The models of 15 genera of extinct animals, only three of which are classed as dinosaurs, were designed and sculpted by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and reflected the latest scientific knowledge at the time.

Bromley’s executive councillor for renewal, recreation and housing Yvonne Bear said: “It is an exciting time for this iconic park as we begin to bring forward our ground-breaking plan and create a future for the park that is fitting of its remarkable past.”

HTA was appointed as the lead consultant and landscape architect through a council competition.

The park’s wider £52m regeneration plan, which is being part funded by the National Lottery Heritage fund, was granted outline planning approval in March 2021.

The £3.2m restoration of the grade II*-listed subway, designed by conservation architect Thomas Ford & Partners, is currently underway and expected to complete this year.

Built in 1865, the subway was built as a direct route to the Crystal Palace and is one of the last remaining structures built for the building, which burned down in 1936.