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Paxton's Crystal Palace set to rise again

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The 1851 Crystal Palace Great Exhibition building could be rebuilt in Sydenham's Crystal Palace Park, if a south-east London architect gets his way.

An anonymous private benefactor has agreed to finance the proposals, drawn up by Ray Hall, to recreate a 20,000m 2version of Joseph Paxton's famous building using modern methods.

And it is understood that the London Development Agency has expressed interest in the scheme, which would be used to house a permanent exhibition called 'World of Sport'.

Hall has also recruited BP Solar, which has estimated that the building could generate enough energy both for itself and surrounding homes.

Because the scheme will be privately financed, it does not need to jump through the many public sector hoops before it gets the go ahead. All it needs is to win planning permission.

'This has been brewing for a long time,' Hall told the AJ. 'I have been looking at it for about eight years, but it has really begun to brew up recently. It is coming to a point where it really might happen.

'We have a benefactor now that wants us to build a scaled-down version of the building using modern methods and modern materials.

'In this way we will be able to reach back to Paxton, while also looking to the future of the planet.

'I really believe this could become a landmark for south-east London,' he added. 'An area that really needs it.'

by Ed Dorrell

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