The new ‘White Building’ is a new cultural venue in Hackney Wick, commissioned by the London Legacy Development Corporation. It can be found across the Lea Navigation Channel from the Olympic site, overlooking the Olympic stadium. The refurbished building; a former print works and sweet factory, will house artists’ studios, a gallery, hire space, café and micro-brewery. The project was granted approval through an invited competition won by David Kohn Architects in collaboration with Michael Pawlyn of Exploration Architecture, specialists in environmentally sustainable design. The competition was organised by Design for London, part of the Greater London Authority, as part of the ‘Olympic Fringe’ a string of small-scale projects aimed at stitching the Olympic Park into the surrounding city fabric.
The £550,000 project is part of the Legacy Corporation’s work to improve the areas surrounding the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as the Olympic site will be known when it reopens from July 2013. Today, the Legacy Corporation and the Mayor of London also launched a book called ‘Stitching the Fringe’ which celebrates the White Building as well as other public realm projects created by the Legacy Corporation, the Mayor’s Office and Design for London. Many of these projects were commended by New London Architecture earlier this week, taking the Public Spaces Award at their New London Awards.
Daniel Moylan, Chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), said: “We will create a stunning Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the Games with superb connections to the surrounding communities that will spread the benefits of the investment made into the Olympic site. The White Building and our other public realm projects are examples of how we are already delivering an Olympic legacy now. Small interventions like this can make a big difference in building community spirit and improving the quality of areas around the Park. It is another example of how legacy plans are more advanced than any previous Olympic Host City.
David Kohn, Director of David Kohn Architects who designed the building, commented: “We are delighted to have played a part in turning The White Building into an extraordinary new cultural venue. A broad collaboration between the client, end users, tenants and local makers has given the project a unique character that will contribute to keeping Hackney Wick Fish Island a creative destination.”
The Hackney Wick and Fish Island area is being transformed with around £2m in funding through the Mayor of London’s Great Outdoors programme, a scheme which has been provided through the London Development Agency (LDA) and the Legacy Corporation. This venture has funded a range of public realm projects as well as the fit out of the White Building.