In order to present the British products in direct comparison with their international competitors and to show the superior quality of their goods, an association of London bankers and industrialists decided to organise a world exhibition.


Therefore, they demanded a building that could be erected in a short space of time and dismantled just as quickly.

For the floor space, they said they needed an undivided area of 6 hectares and the budget was limited to 100,000 pounds sterling.

However, not a single architect was able to meet these requirements.


So they turned to garden architect Joseph Paxton, who submitted a design for a building made entirely of cast iron and glass segments.

The clients were enthusiastic, as they were able to show how far England’s technical advances in iron production had come.

The building was erected in just four months and had a total area of 90,000 m², measuring around 60 by 150 metres.


After the exhibition, the building was dismantled and rebuilt in Sydenham in the middle of a large park.

Unfortunately it burned down almost completely in 1936, which is why we can only admire it today on old views.