LEGACY COMPANY CREATES A NEW CULTURAL CENTRE FOR EAST LONDON

A new cultural centre will open in Hackney Wick this spring once the Olympic Park Legacy Company brings a derelict former print works back into use.

The Hackney Wick Fish Island Cultural Centre, known as The White Building, will provide a range of facilities for local communities. These include new and affordable studio space for artists, a café with canal side seating and a flexible community and event area offering stunning views of the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The Legacy Company is funding the refurbishment of this derelict building in Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, as part of the Olympic Fringe Programme which aims to improve community areas around the Park.

SPACE, an arts and education charity, with support from Bloomberg, will run and manage the Centre on behalf of the Legacy Company with around 60 jobs expected to be created each year.

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said:

“The White Building will bring communities together and create opportunities through arts and culture that will connect the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area.

“Legacy plans are more advanced than any previous Olympic host city and this is another example of how local people are already able to experience the benefits of the Games before they even start.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

“The White Building will be another feather in the cap of the fantastic cultural quarter we are creating in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“Not only will this be a wonderful resource for communities and local artists, it will help drive new skills and jobs in the area. The imaginative use of a derelict print works to create something useful and inspiring for local people is exactly the kind of legacy we are hoping to build from the 2012 Games.”

Anna Harding, CEO of SPACE, said:

“SPACE has a history in the area going back to the early 1980s highlighting the long role creativity has had in regeneration. The White Building provides an opportunity to retain the creative industries, artists and innovation as central to the success of the area.”

David Kohn, Director of David Kohn Architects, said:

“The White Building will be a robust background for a host of exciting activities and events that will foreground the creative work that is made in Hackney Wick. Tall ceilinged and light spaces that open onto the canalside and give views of the Olympic site will contribute to the pleasure of being in this unique location”

David Kohn Architects was commissioned to design the fit out of the two storey 7000ft2 building. In addition, a canal side area designed by MUF Architecture/Arts, which will feature steps from White Post Lane that will double up as seating for outdoors events, space for café seating and open the canal side to the public.

Launch projects for The White Building, sponsored by Bloomberg, include Permacultures, an artist’s residency programme for local and international artists to explore the connection between art, technology and sustainability and People Power, a schools programme to engage pupils in science, technology and sustainability.

SPACE has signed art and architecture practice, public works, as the building’s first tenant.

A café will be run by the team behind The Counter Café on Fish Island. They plan to offer ‘hand crafted’, food and drink, focusing on local produce, including a pizza oven and beer brewed in a microbrewery.