Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Crystal Palace by Imogen


Design- It was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton
The shape and size of the whole building was based around the size of the panes of glass made by the sculptor, Chance Brothers of Birmingham. These were the largest panes you could buy at the time, measuring 25.4 cm wide by 124.46 cm long. The roofing unit took the form of a long triangular prism so it was very light and very strong that meant that it could be built with a few materials. Paxton set the dimensions of the prism with only one pane of glass. These panes were supported by cast iron beams, which were held up by thin cast iron pillars. The ground level of the Crystal Palace (in plan) was 46.9392 m by 11.5824 m. Paxton was knighted by Queen Victoria in recognition of his work.


Interior- The interior was designed by Owen Jones
Owen Jones was asked to decorate and plan the layout of the Great Exhibition building. He wrote to twenty architects and decorators to ask for suggestions, but no one agreed. Jones wanted a vibrant colour scheme using only primary colours. His plan caused lots of debate. He had to defend his views in a lecture to the Institute of British Architects on 16 December 1850. Jones wanted to use stripes of red, yellow and blue, from his belief that all great pieces of art, only the primary colours were used. After his lecture, the Royal Commission accepted it without any changes. Jones because one of the influential design theorists of the 19th century.


Construction- Sir Charles Fox was head of construction
Fox took the position to build the Crystal Palace on the site in July 1850. More than five thousand navvies worked on building during it's construction, with almost two-thousand on site at one time. There was about four thousand tonnes of iron in all. The Crystal Palace was  finished in only five months. Because it was almost completely made of glass, it needed no artificial lighting during the day, which reduced the Exhibition's running costs. Fox was also knighted for his contribution. The building was 41 m high, with 71,794.0 m2 on the ground floor alone.


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