We were asked to advise the client in bringing forward this major regeneration scheme that would breathe new life into and realise the potential of a world renowned but tired and under-utilised exhibition venue. This complex, urban site contains a wide variety of historic buildings including the renowned listed Victorian Exhibition Halls with their distinctive arched roofs and a careful strategy of restoration, adaptation and upgrade was required. The site has become increasingly closed off from both its surroundings and the wider exhibition world and required a clear and ambitious placemaking strategy to put the site back on the map.
The new Olympia will be the largest new permanent theatre of its kind to open in London since the National Theatre in 1976!
We led extensive consultation and discussion with the Council, the Greater London Authority, Historic England, and other interest groups to bring forward redevelopment proposals. The appointed architects, Thomas Heatherwick Studios and SPARCC Architects, introduced a variety of new complementary buildings around the listed exhibition halls to double the overall floorspace on the site. This includes a new 14-storey office tower which delivers almost 80,000 sq m of office space. Another unique aspect of the scheme is a new elevated public realm route with roof canopy which opens the site up for use by the public and surrounding community.
We secured planning permission and listed building consent from Hammersmith & Fulham Council and swift sign off from the Mayor of London for this new global hub of exhibition, arts and cultural uses for London. In total, circa 200,000 sq m of floor space including offices, art house cinema, music venue, two boutique hotels, and retail space will complement the existing exhibition space – continuing the legacy of Olympia for the next century. We have been retained post the grant of permission to advise on this transformational scheme.