See What London’s Billion-Dollar Olympicopolis Arts Hub Will Look Like

Welcome to V&A East.

The V&A East. Photo by Forbes Massie, courtesy Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The V&A East. Photo by Forbes Massie, courtesy Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) released renderings of the £850 million ($1.1 billion) Olympicopolis arts hub at the 2012 Olympic site in East London.

A gigantic new 215,000 square-foot space, dubbed V&A East, will house exhibitions composed of items from the Victoria & Albert Museum’s substantial collection, and will include a 550 seat theater, as well as a second campus for the London College of Fashion.

A waterfront view of what the Olympicopolis will look like once complete. Photo: Forbes Massie, courtesy Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

A waterfront view of what the Olympicopolis will look like once complete. Photo: Forbes Massie, courtesy Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Architecture and design firms Allies and Morrison, as well as O’Donnell + Tuomey, and Arquitecturia, developed the designs for the massive space.

Additionally, the space will also put on shows in collaboration with the US-based Smithsonian Institute, which abandoned plans to occupy its own space in London in favor of a partnership with the historic British institution.

A rendering of what the Olympicopolis complex will look like once complete. Photo: Forbes Massie, courtesy Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

A rendering of what the Olympicopolis complex will look like once complete. Photo: Forbes Massie, courtesy Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Rosanna Lawes, executive director of development at the LLDC said in a statement that the development was a key component towards the revitalization of East London. “In a few short years, we will see not only a new cultural and education district in east London, with some of the world’s leading institutions sitting in the heart of the park, but new neighborhoods and business districts and hugely successful sporting venues delivering on the legacy promises for the 2012 Games.”

In the context of post-Brexit Britain she added, “This is the perfect illustration of how London is open and will remain so.”

The V&A East. Photo: Forbes Massie, courtesy Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The V&A East. Photo: Forbes Massie, courtesy Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

However, area residents are worried about a large concrete factory that is also being proposed near the site, according to the BBC. A Change.org petition has already garnered over 1,600 signatures against the factory in the past few days.

The Olympicopolis project, which was heavily promoted by former London mayor Boris Johnson, is being financed by a combination of state and private funding. The UK government pledged to contribute £141 million ($185 million) towards the project, whilst £180 million ($236 million) will come from private sources. Further funding will reportedly be provided by the Greater London Authority and residential land sales.

The University of Arts, new Fashion School campus. Photo: Forbes Massie, courtesy Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The University of Arts, new Fashion School campus. Photo: Forbes Massie, courtesy Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

According to the LLDC, the project will create 3,000 jobs and is expected to attract 1.5 million visitors annually.


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