Here East, London
by Hawkins/Brown for Here East, Infinity SDC and Delancey
This project involves the transformation of the former Press and Broadcast Centres on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park site into a 120,000m² innovation campus for the creative tech community. The original buildings constructed for the Olympics were enormous in scale and the broadcast centre contained volumes with 11m heights but with window-less facades around the perimeter. In this context, what has been delivered is quite an achievement.
The client had no developer background but as an East Londoner had an ambition to offer something to his community, to bring education, employment and enterprise to the area and provide a catalyst for its regeneration.
Seven years in the making, what has been created is a technology-focussed community where small and large companies and education can co-exist. The inclusion of Loughborough University and UCL (who have brought engineering and architecture departments together) as tenants, underpins the client’s education ambitions for the site, as they reside alongside companies such as Matches, Ford and BT Sport.
Of primary architectural impact is the 16m active zone around the perimeter of the former broadcasting building, introduction of new glazing façade elements and mezzanine/break-out pods. The spaces/volumes are heavily curated to ensure the presence of the right mix of occupants. Companies are turned away for incompatibility with the client’s ethos.
Another special architectural moment is created where the forum space of UCL overlooks the main internal boulevard, its own workshop space and the tech research lab.