Scheme to restore park’s Victorian features including its listed dinosaur sculptures and Italian Terraces

HTA Crystal Park 2

Layers of built of vegetation and sediment around the dinosaur sculptures will be removed and replaced by fresh gravel and rock outcrops

HTA Design has unveiled the first phase of its plans to restore Crystal Palace Park, including its grade I-listed dinosaur sculptures.

Bromley council appointed the practice in June last year to the £17.5m scheme, which aims to refresh many of the historic features of the Victorian park.

Plans have now been submitted for the first phase, which will focus on the Tidal Lakes area and the Italian Terraces which surround the site where the Crystal Palace once stood.

Donald Insall Associates is also on the project team as heritage architect with Tate & Co designing some of the scheme’s newbuild elements.

HTA Crystal Park 1

The Italian Terraces surround a plot of land in the park where the Crystal Palace once stood after it was relocated from Hyde Park

The facelift aims to restore the original design vision of Joseph Paxton, who designed the now grade II*-listed park in the 1850s.

Key to the initial phase is the restoration of the 30 much-loved dinosaur sculptures and 14 geological illustrations installed in 1854, which are now in urgent need of repair and surrounded by undergrowth.

> Also read: HTA Design to restore Crystal Palace Park’s grade I-listed dinosaurs

HTA’s plans will see the removal of these layers of overgrown vegetation and sediment built over time to reveal original features, and introduce a new layer of rock outcrops, gravel formations and “paleo-inspired” planting.

LBR-CPP Italian Terrace meadows

How the new Italian Terrace meadows would look

The practice said the proposals aim to “enhance the geological narrative, reigniting visitors’ imagination and the Victorian sense of wonder for pre-history”.

An information centre, a dinosaur-themed play area, a new maintenance building and a feature entrance at Penge Gate will also be built under the plans.

> Also read: Building archives: The Crystal Palace’s leaking roof, 1851

The park’s grade II-listed Italian Terrace walls, which have gradually fallen into disrepair since the Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire in 1936, will also be restored and paired with new planting.

LBR-CPP Dinosaur Play area concept diagram

The proposed dinosaur-themes play area

HTA Design landscape design director Natalia Roussou said the overhaul will “reveal the layers of history in the landscape, re-establishing an international destination for education and entertainment in line with Paxton’s vision.”

The project team also includes project manager Leadenhall PM Ltd, structural engineer Alan Baxter, accessibility consultant Lord Consulting and civil engineer Pell Frischmann.

LBR-CPP Tidal Lakes Illustrative Plan

Top down view of the proposed restoration of the Tidal Lakes area