Olympicopolis — London

Client
London Legacy Development Corporation

Collaborators
Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios / Coffey / DRDH / David Kohn Architects with Expedition / Gardiner & Theobald / Atelier Ten

5th Studio were shortlisted to design a new cultural quarter at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, dubbed ‘Olympicopolis’. The practice formed part of a team with Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios, DRDH, Coffey and David Kohn Architects, together with Expedition, Gardiner & Theobald, and Atelier Ten. The project sought to establish new east London locations for The Victoria & Albert Museum, Sadler’s Wells, University of the Arts London (London College of Fashion) and the Smithsonian.

Other buildings in the Olympic Park are objects standing in landscape – we propose an inversion of this condition: a public landscape established between objects. The element that unites all the institutions is also the space that is central to the site: a continuous walk linking the different levels, with views across the park, becoming the context for events and cross-institutional collaborations: a unique space in the world.

The V&A, Sadler’s Wells, and UAL are neighbours, each have their own ‘front door’ and specific relationships to the new terraces, off which four towers are also set: The residential towers at the north are markers for the overall development, two smaller pavilions of the Smithsonian sit next to the water. Active Carpenters Road frontages are created for the V&A, Sadler’s Wells and UAL.

An ‘earthenware’ and ‘glassware’ language is proposed for external materials of the specific architecture developed to test each building brief.

Olympicopolis (red) set in the context of the regeneration of the Lee Valley

Institutions open from an interconnected public space linking the levels across the site. Residential towers mark the northern end

Institutions open from an interconnected public space linking the levels across the site. Residential towers mark the northern end

Riverside Piazza to the art school offers a programmable space for events

Interior of the entrance to the art school

Study model of the arts college

The buildings develop their individual characters in a language of ‘earthenware’ and ‘glassware’ facades defining public spaces

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Cambridge

Darkroom
Gwydir Street
Cambridge CB1 2LJ
t +44 (0)1223 516009
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London

Unit 14
21 Wren Street
London WC1X 0HF
t +44 (0)20 7837 7221
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