Heatherwick Studio and SPPARC get green light for £1BN Olympia London Plans to transform iconic 132-year-old landmark into an arts, entertainment, events and creative business quarter.
YOO Capital and Deutsche Finance International – which own the historic exhibition centre – submitted plans to Hammersmith & Fulham Council last summer to turn the 14-acre site into a destination with leading hotels and restaurants, plus performance venues and state-of-the-art office space.
Award-winning practices Heatherwick Studio and SPPARC are leading on the design and implementation of the project, which will also see 2.5 acres of new public space created.
Thomas Heatherwick, Founder of Heatherwick Studio, said: “We’re excited to have the opportunity to work on this important but neglected piece of historic London, transforming Olympia into a revitalized place, not only for exhibitions but also for arts, culture, and entertainment. Celebrating the original architectural innovation of the 132-year old exhibition halls, our vision aims to enhance the public experience of the site by creating over 2 acres of new publicly-accessible space for visitors and the local community to enjoy.”
Eliot Postma, Group Leader at Heatherwick Studio, said: “Whilst Olympia is already much-loved, we’ve worked on finding a way to make the site more generous to its neighbours and equally, more efficient. Through a series of simple yet strategic moves, we’ve come up with a plan that opens the site up, improves service facilities, and creates new public spaces, bringing the site into a new era of use.”
Trevor Morriss, Principal of SPPARC: “We are thrilled to have received planning for the redevelopment of the iconic Olympia London. Each building and public space we have carefully designed has been inspired by the rich history that surrounds the scheme and will position Olympia London as a thriving hub for creativity and innovation.”
The transformation will begin from next year, with the first tenants moving in by 2023. YOO Capital and Deutsche Finance International are in advanced talks with some of the biggest names in entertainment and hospitality about taking space on the enhanced site and will announce the first commercial partners in the spring.
The project will create more than 3,000 new construction jobs over the next five years in addition to approximately 5,400 new jobs for the borough when it is completed. It will also bring in an extra £9m per year in consumer spending to Hammersmith & Fulham.
Key features of the project include:
• A 1,500-seat theatre
• A 1,000-seat performing arts venue
• Two hotels
• A four-screen cinema
• 670,000 sq ft of creative office space, including new co-working space
• Upgrades to the existing spaces to turn Olympia London into one of the world’s top
exhibition and event centres
• A 200,000 sq ft logistics centre
Chairman of YOO Capital John Hitchcox said: “Not only is this great news for London – it’s also an example of a British project with European investment creating jobs and opportunities in spite of the current economic and political climate.
“We are proud to announce this plan and press ‘Go’ on a £1bn project that will transform Olympia London into a global force in arts, entertainment, exhibitions and events.
“We will achieve all of this with minimal disruption to the hundreds of inspirational events that will continue to take place at Olympia London during the transformation.”
Gavin Neilan, Co-Founding Partner of DFI, commented: “We are delighted to announce that planning consent has been granted for our £1bn transformation of Olympia London and look forward to working with our partners to support the exhibition business and unlock the tremendous potential within the iconic estate.”
Already home to more than 200 events and welcoming 1.6 million visitors every year, Olympia London has championed the arts for generations – from being one of London’s first cinemas to hosting Vivienne Westwood’s first fashion show.
Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE have been appointed as the leasing advisors on the project.