Sadiq Khan unveils East Bank in Stratford
The ambitious £1billion East Bank development has been rebranded and resized under external pressure
Those who have spent the past few years trying to twist their tongue around Olympicopolis have been let off the hook. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park cultural hub, announced by Boris Johnson in 2013 and unveiled in 2016, has been redesigned and rebranded as East Bank.
Not only pared back in name, the new £1.1billion vision, launched by Mayor Of London Sadiq Khan last week, features a reduction in height.
Proposals for the Stratford site show smaller towers and a diminishing of the Victoria And Albert Museum outpost, which has been inspired by fashion designer Balenciaga and includes a new partnership with the Smithsonian Institution.
The scale was trimmed after the realisation protected views of St Paul’s from Richmond Park might be threatened.
V&A director Tristram Hunt said the site would “revolutionise” how its collections were accessed, create a new museum and open up opportunities for collaboration.
“We’re delighted to have the Mayor Of London behind us and to see the project gathering pace,” he said.
A Sadler’s Wells dance theatre, a new home for the London College Of Fashion and a site for University College London, named UCL East, remain part of the plans.
They have been joined by a new base for the BBC Symphony Orchestra And Chorus and BBC Singers, which will include state-ofthe-art recording facilities.
The BBC also plans to bring the Proms to the area, with both performances and opportunities for young people from east London to participate in choirs and ensembles.
O’Donnell + Tuomey is overseeing the V&A and Sadler’s Wells buildings, while Allies & Morrison is carrying out the detailed design work on the BBC and London College Of Fashion.
The government will invest £151million in the scheme, while the Mayor will contribute £385million.
Mr Khan said at least 50% of the 600 new homes across the remaining development sites on the Park – Stratford Waterfront, Pudding Mill and Rick Roberts Way – would be affordable.
He said: “Great cities are defined by their ambition as much as their achievements – East Bank is the most ambitious new project of its kind for decades.
“I have made culture, innovation and growth a top priority and as London’s centre of gravity extends east, I’m delighted that we’re placing culture and education at the heart of this development and the Olympic legacy.
“My vision for East Bank is one where everyone, regardless of their background, can access world-class culture and education on their doorstep.
“East Bank is a fantastic collaboration of inter-disciplinary work and world-class institutions that will drive forward growth and inspire more young Londoners to take up creative careers, transforming the communities of east London.”
The scheme is expected to create 1,500 jobs, £1.5bn of economic benefit and bring more than 10,000 students to the site.
It will build on the area’s existing creative credentials, which include the artistic community in Hackney Wick, East London Dance, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Studio Wayne McGregor.
Deputy Mayor for culture and creative industries Justine Simons OBE said: “East Bank represents the most significant single investment in London’s culture since the legacy of the 1851 Great Exhibition, and will shape the cultural life of the city for the 21st century and beyond.”
UAL’s London College of Fashion is leading on the development of a Fashion District, a hub for fashion innovation in east London, which will launch in the autumn, and partners have also been working with local schools to develop a strategy to raise awareness, aspiration and attainment amongst young east Londoners.
East Bank partners will also host Open Doors: Vote 100 at Here East on July 22, a day of free entertainment for the local community.
A public consultation on the masterplan is now open ahead of a planning application being submitted towards the end of 2018. Go to stratfordwaterfront. commonplace.is for more information
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan unveils East Bank in Stratford at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, along with CGI and models of the proposed scheme