Overall view, showing modular structure, all of which was visible through the glass
It was the first instance of modular construction, the repeated module being 24 ft (7.2 m), and all structural members were exposed to view. The arched transept was added by Paxton to take in some old elm trees and save them.
The gallery of modern and contemporary architecture models in the museum opened in 2007. The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and plate-glass building originally erected in Hyde Park, London, England, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. Designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, the Great Exhibition building was 1,851 feet (564 m) long, with an interior height of 128 feet (39 m). Because of the recent invention of the cast plate glass method in 1848, which allowed for large sheets of cheap but strong glass, it was at the time the largest amount of glass ever seen in a building and astonished visitors with its clear walls and ceilings that did not require interior lights, thus a 'Crystal Palace'. It was taken down after the Exhibition (rebuilt at Sydenham in an altered form and later destroyed by fire).