With the O2 Centre as a backdrop, the new sustainability centre is set to be located in prime position in London’s Docklands ready for the Summer Olympics in 2012. The centre is designed to be within walking distance of the Olympic Park as well as the ExCeL exhibition and conference centre. In order to react with its surroundings, Wilkinson Eyre’s design for the new centre is comprised of crystalline geometry, drawing inspiration from nature and contrasting with the curve of the O2 Centre. The building shell is formed of two interlocking parallelogram shapes with multiple triangular facets. One parallelogram form is to contain an exhibition space and the other to house conference and meeting rooms. A palette of reflective and transparent materials are to be installed on the facets catch the light in different ways in an attempt create a dynamic composition on the waterfront.
Pringle Brandon have completed the interior design of the project – a total of 7,000 sq m centring on an exhibition hall and a number of individual exhibition areas. Additional facilities include a 300 seat auditorium, conference facilities, meeting rooms and office space. A restaurant/café with outside seating, a coffee shop and gift shop for visitors will also feature in the design, as well as a giant screen situated outside of the centre. The design has been drawn up to maximise the use of natural daylight where possible, also incorporating high performance glazing, photovoltaic panels and energy efficient lighting in order to create the most feasibly sustainable build. Rainwater harvesting, water efficient appliances, ground source heat pumps and solar water heating will all be integral to the design and the building will be constructed using recycled steel and industrial by-product cement. Sustainable drainage and water efficient landscaping are also part of the plans to create a relaxing waterside environment around the building. The aim is to design and build a facility that reaches the highest standards of sustainability possible.