The Crystal Palace Project in Second Life

Get your British art researching avatar at the ready, because this project is well worth a virtual visit!

At the BARS summer symposium ‘What is to become of the Crystal Palace’ we heard from Shelley Hales (Bristol, Classics and Ancient History) about this exciting project to give a second life to the ill-fated Crystal Palace building at Sydenham, the original of which was destroyed in a fire in 1936.  To have a wander around the virtual  Pompeiian Courts click here.  The following is from their website:

This website is dedicated to the Crystal Palace Project, which revolves around the wish to investigate what it feels like to recreate the past by recreating our own small section of the giant Crystal Palace built in Sydenham  in 1854. The section we work with was called the Pompeian Court and was a complete life-size model of an ancient Roman house, housing a collection of copies of Roman paintings. The house and the paintings were based on the ruins preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in the Roman town of Pompeii. It was destroyed when the Palace burnt down in 1936. Phase 1 of our project was funded by JISC and involved building a virtual 3D model of the Court in Second Life, which housed a digitised collection of the material that was in it.  

Having built and trialled the model with various user groups, we are now entering Phase 2 of the project. Supported by the University of Bristol’s Impact Development Fund, we are concentrating on making our model more accessible and user-friendly so that we can maximise the usefulness of our model and share the resources we have built up. Our twin focuses are the education and heritage sectors. We are working with our partner school, Chantry High School in Ipswich, to create a series of learning activities for Year 10 students, working in and around the model and also looking for partners in the Crystal Palace area in order to make the model accessible to the local community and visitors to the park.

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