The aim was to encourage local young people and families to make more visits to the park and be better able to engage with its heritage, in particular the extraordinary legacy of design and engineering innovation found within the park.
We received £29,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £10,585 from Bromley Council’s Crystal Palace Park Community Projects Fund for the project Sublime Structures at Crystal Palace Park (2017- 2019). The aim was to encourage local young people and families to make more visits to the park and be better able to engage with its heritage, in particular the extraordinary legacy of design and engineering innovation found within the park.
Through primary and secondary school workshops and family days, we investigated a mixture of existing buildings, surviving features, archaeological clues and archival material including: Joseph Paxton’s innovative and spectacular Crystal Palace; the soaring Crystal Palace Transmitter – the ‘Eiffel Tower of South London’; the secret spaces of the Victorian Crystal Palace Station Subway; and the complex geometric concrete structure of the National Sports Centre. The school workshops were closely linked to the school curriculum, especially for the STEM subjects, (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in secondary schools and history, science, maths and design and technology in primary schools. Online teaching resources produced as a legacy of the project mean that teachers can carry out work on Crystal Palace Park independently in the future and are available in the resources section.
Archive material and research was carried out on a wide number of Crystal Palace Park topics by volunteers after a training day at the RIBA Library and V&A drawings collection. Topics range from the Crystal Palace Pneumatic railway to Paxton and Crystal Palace Geological illustrations. They are available to read in the archive section.
The final legacy for the project is the Crystal Palace Park Orienteering pack which is designed to be a fun resource, aimed at children, parents and carers to help everyone get the most from their visits to one of South London’s gems. Each card contains information about a particular structure, from the Palace itself to the buildings and sculptures that exist today. The pack also contains a map to help you find them all and then you can arrange the cards to give you a beautiful visual history of the park. It is available to buy here.