LEGACY CORPORATION LAUNCHES CULTURAL CENTRE NEXT TO OLYMPIC PARK

A new cultural centre in London’s most creative district will open its doors this weekend after the London Legacy Development Corporation brought a derelict building back into use.

The Hackney Wick Fish Island Cultural Centre, known as The White Building, is expected to bring thousands of Londoners together through art, education and community activities.

The building, a former print works, includes studio space for artists, event spaces for community use and a cafe with canal side seating next to the Olympic Park run by a local business.

The White Building is part of the Legacy Corporation’s work to improve the areas surrounding the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as the Olympic site will be known when it reopens from July 2013.

Today, the Legacy Corporation and the Mayor of London also launched a book called ‘Stitching the Fringe’ which celebrates the White Building as well as other public realm projects created by the Legacy Corporation, the Mayor’s Office and Design for London.

Many of these projects were commended by New London Architecture earlier this week, taking the Public Spaces Award at their New London Awards.

Daniel Moylan, Chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), said:

“We will create a stunning Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the Games with superb connections to the surrounding communities that will spread the benefits of the investment made into the Olympic site.

“The White Building and our other public realm projects are examples of how we are already delivering an Olympic legacy now. Small interventions like this can make a big difference in building community spirit and improving the quality of areas around the Park.

“It is another example of how legacy plans are more advanced than any previous Olympic Host City.”

Following a competition, David Kohn Architects , in collaboration with Michael Pawlyn from Exploration Architecture, was commissioned to design the fit out of the two storey building. MUF Architecture/Arts designed the canal-side area which features steps leading from White Post Lane that will double up as seating for outdoors events, space for café seating and opening up the canal side to the public for the first time.

SPACE, an arts and education charity, with support from Bloomberg, will run and manage the White Building with ongoing support from the Legacy Corporation.

Anna Harding, Chief Executive of SPACE, said:

“The White Building is a new sort of space where creative people can come together, with a focus on work at the intersection of art, technology and sustainability. It provides a beacon for an area full of experimentation and artists.

“It places art and artists at the heart of change and opens up the waterfront for public enjoyment. Industrial buildings in this area have housed artists’ studios for decades, The White Building demonstrates that quality buildings and space for artists are worth retaining in regeneration.”

David Kohn, Director of David Kohn Architects which designed the building, said:

“We are delighted to have played a part in turning The White Building into an extraordinary new cultural venue. A broad collaboration between the client, end users, tenants and local makers has given the project a unique character that will contribute to keeping Hackney Wick Fish Island a creative destination.”

Early artistic projects in the White Building include Permacultures, an artists’ international residency programme and People Power, a schools programme, both exploring and developing the connection between art, technology and sustainability.

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

The building is minutes from Hackney Wick Station, the Press and Broadcast Centre and the Greenway as well as being one of the main routes into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.