Throughout the nineteenth century, the United Kingdom experienced a strong wave of industrialization. In London's East End, Stratford was gradually converted from farmland into a busy manufacturing hub, and became home to some of the city's poorest and most violent neighbourhoods. Heavily damaged by World War II bombings, the area was never quite able to recover. Impoverished and underdeveloped for more than five decades, the organization of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in the British capital, hosted on the banks of the nearby River Lea, marked the beginning of a major regeneration scheme for the precinct.
Nowadays, the formerly contaminated land is in the process of transforming into a dynamic mixed-use neighbourhood. The East Village, built to welcome the 17,000 athletes and officials during the Games, was converted into more than 3,800 new homes, half of which consist of affordable housing. Benefiting from the London real estate boom and rising prices, Stratford has become a hot spot for residential and office development. Recently, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the University of the Arts London College of Fashion, Sadler’s Wells, and Washington DC’s Smithsonian have announced their plans to open a major cultural and educational campus in the south end of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Known as Olympicopolis, the development includes two highrise residential towers standing approximately 30 and 40 floors above ground level, and destined to house more than 5,000 students and 500 staff, as well as Sadler’s Wells' new 600-seat theatre. Designed in collaboration by London-based Allies and Morrison, Dublin's O’Donnell + Tuomey, and Spanish firm Arquitecturia the 70,000-square-metre site is set to become a centrepiece for the new Stratford Waterfront. Indeed, the $1.85 billion project will be framed by extensive green spaces and riverside promenades.
The developer, the London Legacy Development Corporation, plans to submit their application by the end of 2016, which puts would allow them to begin construction in 2018 if building permits are granted within the usual time frame. The tentative completion date for the complex is currently set for 2021. In the meantime, additional images and information about the project can be found in the Database file linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion or share your photos? Check out the associated Forum thread or leave a comment at the bottom of this page.