The crystal palace
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The Crystal Palace. The Structure.

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The Crystal Palace

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The crystal palace

The Crystal Palace


The structure

The Structure

The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and glassbuilding originally erected in Hyde park, London , England , to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. More than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered in the Palace's 990,000 square feet (92,000 m2) of exhibition space to display examples of the latest technology developed in the Industrial revolution. Designed by Joseph Paxton, the Great Exhibition building was 1,851 feet (564 m) long, with an interior height of 108 feet (33 m). Full-size, living Elm trees in the park were enclosed within the central exhibition hall near the 27-foot (8 m) tall Crystal Fountain.


It s construction

It’s Construction

  • The Crystal Palace was built by about 5,000 navvies (Navvy is a shorter form of navigational engineer). The 900,000 square feet (84,000 m²) of glass was provided by the Chance Brothers glassworks in Smethwick , Birmingham . They were the only glassworks capable of fulfilling such a large order, and had to bring in labour from France to meet it in time.


A state of the art building

A State of the art Building

  • The Crystal Palace was designed, manufactured and assembled in less than one year. This feat was made possible by manufacturing technology that is still considered state of the art. The building is an integrated system or kit of parts, where each part serves multiple functions. The columns support the girders and act as downspouts for the gutters. The Paxton gutters shed rain water and support the roof gables. The glass roof panels are both building enclosure and lighting system.


An evidence of cultural shift

An Evidence of cultural shift

  • The quantity of applied ornament and embellishment is overwhelming but is indicative of what was acceptable, even desirable by Victorian standards. As compared to the artifacts in the exhibition the Crystal Palace building has a clean sparse appearance with a minimum of ornament. With the exception of girder connection covers there are few components that could be considered ornamental.(fig. 2) The real difference lies in the method of manufacture and the value placed on the resulting product by society. Once Londoners saw the efficiency and grace of its construction the Crystal Palace became a focus of pride. The design marks a cultural shift in values from garish hand made ornament of the past to the clean, streamlined machine made products of the future.


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