Huge interest as 'Olympicopolis' design competition opens

• Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Culture and Education Quarter design competition formally opens • Victoria and Albert Museum, University of the Arts London and Sadler’s Wells will be part of the project • The competition is being managed by Malcolm Reading Consultants

The international search for the design team to bring to life the Mayor’s vision for the new educational and cultural quarter ‘Olympicopolis’ on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has formally opened today 11 September) –

The competition was announced by Mayor of London Boris Johnson in July and has already had more than 960 architects, masterplanners, placemakers, engineers and landscape designers from across the globe register their interest. ‘Olympicopolis’ is an exciting new destination on Stratford Waterfront at the gateway to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It will showcase London at its cultural best, bringing together outstanding organisations with exceptional art, dance, history, craft, science, technology and cutting edge design.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, Sadler’s Wells and University of the Arts London are already part of this exciting new development. University College London are also key partners in the wider ‘Olympicopolis’ scheme, and will be building a major new campus adjacent to the Stratford Waterfront site, allowing for unparalleled collaboration in education, training and research amongst all the organisations involved.

The Mayor has appointed a high profile jury to select the winning design for this ambitious new waterfront destination which will be chaired by Paul Finch, programme director of the World Architecture Festival and editorial director of the Architectural Review and Architects’ Journal. Other jury members are:

  • Neale Coleman, Deputy Chair, London Legacy Development Corporation
  • David Edmonds, Chair Investment Committee, London Legacy Development Corporation
  • Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture
  • Martin Roth, Director, Victoria & Albert Museum
  • Moira Gemmill, Director of Design, Victoria & Albert Museum
  • Alistair Spalding, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Sadler’s Wells
  • Nigel Carrington, Provost, University of Arts London
  • Amanda Burden, Principal, Bloomberg Associates
  • Louisa Hutton, Principal, Sauerbruch Hutton Architects
  • Martha Thorpe, Executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
"Olympicopolis is an extraordinarily exciting new development for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which will bring new jobs and growth to the area. It is great to see such a huge appetite from talented designers around the world to get involved as our plans progress for the site."

Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:
“The level of interest from across the globe promises to deliver entries of the very highest quality in keeping with the Park’s award-winning venues.”

Martin Roth, Director Victoria and Albert Museum, said:
“It is very encouraging that there has been such a level of interest globally in ‘Olympicopolis’ at this early stage and testament to the importance of this project, which I believe has the potential to be one of the most exciting international developments in arts and culture. It is paramount that we find a brilliant design solution for such a large-scale and multi-functioning venue and I hope that a broad range of architectural practices from across the spectrum will submit entries so we can deliver something truly wonderful for London.”

Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive at Sadler’s Wells said:
“This opportunity to design a major cultural building of this kind, housing as it will a unique combination of cultural and educational organisations, is rare and as such should attract some of the most innovative and accomplished practices from around the world.”

The design competition is being managed by independent competition specialist, Malcolm Reading Consultants on behalf of the Legacy Corporation. The London-based consultancy specialises in architectural competitions in the arts, museums, heritage and public sector and is currently running the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition.

The competition is a two stage process; the first will seek Expressions of Interest from multi-disciplinary teams with relevant experience. It is anticipated that from these, five finalists will be selected to proceed to the second stage. They will submit concept designs during the second stage with the winning team being announced in March 2015.

Malcolm Reading said:
“The competition presents teams with an extraordinarily absorbing design challenge and an opportunity to secure a high profile global project. The design and civic qualities of the Quarter will shape both local and international perceptions of the Park.”

-Ends –

For more information contact the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Press Office on +44 (0) 20 3734 9010 or email [email protected]

Notes to editors
For details on how to enter -

In December last year the Mayor unveiled his vision for ‘Olympicopolis’ which takes its inspiration from the achievements of Prince Albert, who used the proceeds of the 1851 Great Exhibition to create ‘Albertopolis’ – the 86 acre site around Exhibition Road in South Kensington that is today considered one of the world’s pre-eminent scientific, educational, artistic and cultural hubs. The Mayor’s aim is that this will be a dynamic new hub for 21st century London, attracting prestigious institutions and businesses to the site to foster collaboration and innovation. As well as creating new visitor attractions, it will seek to attract knowledge based industries to the Stratford site, linking to Tech City, Here East and beyond. It’s projected that the cumulative effect of these plans will generate an extra 10,000 jobs in the Park and an extra £5.2 billion of economic value from the area, contributing an additional £99m in tax revenue per year.

London’s newest visitor destination, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a place unlike any other. Visitors to the Park are able to enjoy beautiful parklands and waterways, world-famous sporting venues, arts and events and spectacular views from the ArcelorMittal Orbit. As a new heart for east London, the Park will also provide new homes, jobs and a cultural and education quarter.

The London Legacy Development Corporation promotes and delivers physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area, in particular by maximising the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. For more information visit, follow us on Twitter @noordinarypark and like us on Facebook

Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) is a strategic architectural consultancy, which specialises in the selection of contemporary designers. MRC believes in the power of design to create new perceptions and act as an inspiration – whether at the local level, or internationally. The consultancy offers a service to find the very best designers for clients with new building projects, whether through open-international, or private-invited competitions. Recent work in this area includes competitions for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Mumbai City Museum, the Natural History Museum, the UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015, the Queen’s College, Oxford, the Cadogan Estate, the Aberdeen City Garden project, the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Exhibition Road project, the UK Pavilion for Shanghai Expo 2010 and the Glasgow School of Art.