Olympicopolis — London

London Legacy Development Corporation

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

5th Studio were shortlisted to design a new cultural quarter at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, dubbed ‘Olympicopolis’ - now rebranded as ‘East Bank’. The practice was part of a team formed of 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, which becomes 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 for the Smithsonian sit next to the water. Active frontages along Carpenters Road are created for the V&A, Sadler’s Wells and UAL combining servicing arrangements with active workshops and entrances.

An ‘earthenware’ and ‘glassware’ language was proposed, providing a strong material language for the specific architectural proposals developed to test each building’s brief.

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

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

The volumes of the Institutions arrayed across the terraces of public space, with the residential towers marking the northern end of the site

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

View of the ground floor of the art school with its entrance, social and exhibition space

Study model of the arts college

The buildings develop their individual characters in a language of ‘earthenware’ and ‘glassware’ facades which help to characterise the public spaces



Unit 14
21 Wren Street
London WC1X 0HF
t +44 (0)20 7837 7221
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Gwydir Street
Cambridge CB1 2LJ
t +44 (0)1223 516009
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2 King Edward Street
Oxford OX1 4HS
t +44 (0)1865 684004
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Stay in touch

We are keen to receive CVs and short portfolios from Part 1 and Part 2 designers. Please contact us via recruitment@5thstudio.co.uk

We actively encourage qualified applicants who are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, disabled, female and LGBTQIA+ as these groups are under-represented throughout the built environment professions.