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1951 Festival of Britain Skylon to get rebuilt

A 91m tall Skylon tower that formed the focal point of the 1951 Festival of Britain could soon be rebuilt.

The Skylon – designed by Powell & Moya Architects - was universally praised but a year after the Exhibition ended it was taken down and sold off for scrap.

A team, which includes consultants Atkins and architect Pringle Brandon have started work on getting it rebuilt.

Several sites have been suggested for the new Skylon but as it came out of the Festival of Britain – a festival for the people – the project team wanted to let the people decide again. A website is being launched with 12 possible locations for it across the country.

Atkins design director, Hayden Nuttall, said: "Everything about the Skylon seemed to defy gravity – it just looked like it shouldn’t stand up – yet it did. It was engineering slight of hand – a magic trick using maths and physics. But it was only built to last 2-3 years, the challenge for us will be making the new Skylon last up to a century."

A life-sized projection of the Skylon will be shone on the side of the Shell Building, next to the London Eye, from 10 July for four days. The exhibition associated with it will be a centrepiece of the London Festival of Architecture. The exhibition is co-curated by Jack Pringle from Pringle Brandon and Ken Powell.

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