Project Governance & Control, The Building of the Crystal Palace


By Patrick Weaver

Melbourne, Australia

The Crystal Palace was built in London for the Great Exhibition of 1851. To put this in historical perspective, this is just 35 years after the Battle of Waterloo brought an end to the Napoleonic wars, and 60 years before Henry Gantt began his work.

A Brief Synopsis of the Building

The Crystal Palace was a building the size of a modern shopping mall: 1848 feet [563.3 meters] long, 408 ft [124.4 m] wide and 108 ft [32.9 m] high, with a roofed area of 772,784 square feet [71,794m² ] about 19 acres [ 7 Hectares ].  The sketch plans were approved on the 11th June 1850:

pmwj22-may2014-weaver-IMAGE1 DRAWING

Fig.1 The famous ‘original design’

When the ‘design’ was approved, tenders were sought from industry and the design proposal from Fox, Henderson and Co accepted. Work started on the 15th July 1850, possession of site was granted on the 30th July, the first column was erected on the 26th September and the formal contract signed on the 31st October. The initial construction in Hyde Park required an existing row of elm trees to be preserved within the structure:


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About the Author

flag-australiapatrick weaverPatrick Weaver        

Melbourne, Australia

Patrick Weaver, PMP, PMI-SP, FAICD, FCIOB, is the Managing Director of Mosaic Project Services Pty Ltd, an Australian project management consultancy specialising in project control systems and a PMI Registered Education Provider.  Patrick is also the business manager of Stakeholder Management Pty Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, Australasia (FCIOB) and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD). He is a member of the PMI College of Scheduling, and the PMI Melbourne Chapter (Australia), as well a full member of AIPM, APM (UK) and the College of Performance Management.  Patrick has over 35 years experience in Project Management.  His career was initially focused on the planning and managing of construction, engineering and infrastructure projects in the UK and Australia. The last 25 years has seen his businesses and experience expand to include the successful delivery of project scheduling services and PMOs in a range of government, ICT and business environments; with a strong focus on project management training.  His consultancy work encompasses: developing and advising on project schedules, developing and presenting PM training courses, managing the development of internal project control systems for client organisations, and assisting with dispute resolution and claims management.  He is a qualified Arbitrator.  In the last few years, Patrick has sought to ‘give back’ to the industry he has participated in since leaving college through contributions to the development of the project management profession.  In addition to his committee roles he has presented papers at a wide range of project management conferences in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia, has an on-going role with the PMOZ conference in Australia and is part of the Australian delegation to ISO TC258.  Patrick can be contacted at [email protected] or at www.mosaicprojects.com.au.

To see other works published in the PM World Journal by Patrick Weaver, visit his author showcase at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/patrick-weaver/