Bromley Council is seeking a design team for a £2.5 million restoration of the Grade II*-listed Crystal Palace Subway in south London
The multidisciplinary team selected for the estimated £275,000 contract will design and deliver a major revamp of the disused tunnel, which once connected the Joseph Paxton-designed 1851 Crystal Palace to a nearby train station.
The project, planned to complete in 2022, is the first stage of a wider plan to transform the subterranean structure, which is on the Heritage at Risk register, into a cultural venue to boost local tourism. The subway was built to link Crystal Palace (High Level) railway station with the Victorian landmark, running underneath the busy A212 road. The station closed in 1954, 18 years after the palace burned down.
In its brief, the council says it wants to appoint ‘a conservation architect-led multidisciplinary team with experience in managing the restoration of listed historic structures’. The team will ‘repair, restore and conserve’ the subway so that, in the future, it can be transformed into a commercially viable cultural events venue.
‘The overall aim of this project is limited to restoring the building, in line with recommendations made by Donald Insall in 2014, and removing the structure from the Heritage at Risk Register,’ the brief states. ‘The delivery of this project will enable the council to re-open the subway to the public. The Subway then has the potential in the future to become a new cultural destination supporting tourism in South London.’
The Crystal Palace was originally built in Hyde Park before being relocated to suburban Sydenham in 1854. It was destroyed by fire in 1936 resulting in a drastic reduction in rail traffic.
The train station was closed and later redeveloped for housing leaving the subway intact beneath the roadway. The current initiative follows a campaign for its restoration by the Friends of Crystal Palace Subway.
The winning team will deliver the project from RIBA Stage 0 through to completion. Bids will be evaluated 60 per cent on price and 40 per cent on quality.
The deadline for applications is 28 February.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
Bromley Civic Centre