Today visitors can step back in time and explore the building once again, using their phone, tablet or PC. A combination of CGI and 360 photography which overlays the historic building onto the present-day site, allows visitors to switch between then and now. Users can marvel at the huge scale of the site. People can discover intriguing stories as they navigate: you can find out about the first ever public toilets and the lady who walked from Cornwall to attend, becoming a celebrity in the process.
The building was regenerated digitally using The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851’s archive of plans and images, as well as The Royal Parks’ historical documents such as old maps.
The Royal Parks was the winning entry to a competition set by Seymour & Lerhn which invited organisations to put forward proposals for a virtual reality education resource and built the virtual reality tour of The Crystal Palace as the competition prize.
Ledy Leyssen, Head of Learning at The Royal Parks, said: “The Great Exhibition opened on 1st May 1851 in London’s Hyde Park to showcase the arts, science and technology of the day, yet nothing remains of the structure now. So, 169 years later we’ve harnessed today’s technology to bring the Royal Parks’ heritage to life, uncovering the park’s past for everyone to enjoy, especially those who aren’t able to visit in person.”
The Royal Parks will seek funding to further develop the project by populating The Crystal Palace with the artefacts of The Great Exhibition.
Charlie Power, Head Honcho, Seymour & Lerhn, said: “The Great Exhibition of 1851 'Crystal Palace' was a truly incredible feat of engineering, and we're delighted to see it brought to life on its 169th anniversary! With the lockdown continuing, the virtual tour offers a unique way for people to ‘get out of the house’ and explore the history hidden within Hyde Park - all without actually having to leave their homes.”