Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has unveiled the latest images of East Bank at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which aims to become a new “powerhouse of culture, education and innovation” for the city. The BBC has joined the list of institutions taking up residence within the major new arts quarter, which also includes a new V&A site in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, new campuses for UAL’s London College of Fashion and UCL, and a 550-seat theatre for Sadler’s Wells. The BBC will create a new home for the BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus and BBC Singers.
Originally coined Olympicopolis, the area has been rebranded East Bank, and new designs drawn up by architects Allies and Morrison, with O’Donnell + Tuomey and Camps Felip Arquitecturia. The initial plans were adjusted, with tower heights reduced to protect views of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The V&A museum is apparently “inspired, in part, by the work of fashion designer Balenciaga”. UAL’s London College of Fashion is leading on the development of a so-called Fashion District, “a hub for fashion innovation in East London” launching in autumn 2018.
The Mayor of London has invested £385m in East Bank and the government has confirmed £151m to support the £1.1bn project. The development also includes housing, 50% of which will be affordable. East Bank will be situated to the north of Zaha Hadid’s London Aquatics Centre.
Khan commented at the launch this morning (5 June): "East Bank is the most ambitious new project of its kind for decades. I have made culture, innovation and growth a top priority, and as London’s centre of gravity extends east, I’m delighted that we’re placing culture and education at the heart of this development and the Olympic legacy.
“My vision for East Bank is one where everyone, regardless of their background, can access world-class culture and education on their doorstep. East Bank is a fantastic collaboration of inter-disciplinary work and world-class institutions that will drive forward growth and inspire more young Londoners to take up creative careers, transforming the communities of east London."