Engineering an Olympic Legacy for London
London’s Queen Elizabeth’s Olympic Park was born following the 2012 Olympic Games, providing the UK with a lasting legacy that is both a celebration of the Games and a unique centrepiece for East London.
The park features iconic structures such as London Stadium, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the London Aquatics Centre, the Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, as well as parklands, waterways, playgrounds and cafes.
A key development for the Park is Here East, a new creative hub for the capital. Based in the vast former International Broadcasting Centre (IBC), Here East is now home to both global and start-up companies side by side, with the aim of bringing technical ideas and innovations to life. The space also includes retail outlets and education facilities, with institutions including Loughborough University London, University College London and Studio Wayne McGregor.
Buro Happold had significant involvement in the project, delivering the original engineering design as well as working with iCity to modify and adapt the facility for its new incarnation.
A key element of the design was the need to develop a space that was highly flexible so that it could be sub-let to a wide range of businesses, encouraging the growth of both high-tech creativity and high-value employment opportunities. Our team needed to transform the 51,00m2 shell of the IBC into a vibrant space that will boost the local economy.
Further challenges included the need to avoid any disruption to programming at the new BT Broadcasting Centre adjacent to the site.
To create flexible spaces suitable for a wide variety of tenants, the design team replaced the original interior of the building with a series of mezzanine floors. The windowless building envelope was removed and replaced with a fritted glass facade, maximising natural light and ventilation, while offering views across Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
We meticulously scheduled works to ensure that there would be no disruption to BT Sport’s broadcasting.
The work to create Here East has transformed a building that was once a giant, open-plan industrial unit into a bold, cleverly planned space for business and technology. The building reflects the very best in industrial regeneration, boosting the economy and redeveloping a previously neglected area.
Here East was awarded the prestigious AJ100 Building of the Year in 2018, earning praise from the judges including the comment ‘this is the future of engineering’.