Queen Elizabeth
Olympic Park’s
Culture &

Design Competition


London Legacy Development Corporation’s regeneration of east London at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is one of the most ambitious urban renewal programmes in Europe. It forms the legacy of the hugely-admired London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Mayor of London’s ‘Olympicopolis’ plan envisages, within this regeneration, a new Culture and Education Quarter which creates a unique arts-education-science-technology nexus in the capital.

The V&A, Sadler’s Wells, University of the Arts London and a fourth partner will bring their international reputations and diverse expertise to this Culture and Education Quarter – the subject of this competition. The Quarter will provide these institutions with the physical space and the impetus to explore novel and experimental work. It also promises to become a leading residential district within London, benefiting from the ambience of a creative and prestigious destination.

The site for this new cultural entity on Stratford Waterfront is spectacular. Positioned at the gateway to the Park, it is surrounded by landmarks: the dramatic ArcelorMittal Orbit, the multi-award winning London Aquatics Centre, the South Park Plaza and the Stadium.

The design and civic qualities of the Quarter will shape both local and international perceptions of the Park and capture the transforming identity of east London.

This competition seeks a multi-disciplinary design team of the highest quality, which can realise the project’s objectives and relate to the client and the partner ensemble.

The shortlist was announced in December 2014, and Stage Two is now underway. The winner will be announced by early summer of 2015.


At 227 hectares, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is one of the largest new urban spaces to be established in Europe for 150 years. The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) is overseeing the area’s transformation into a home for people, businesses, sports, culture and education. Twenty-thousand new homes will result from the overall regeneration. Some 50,000 jobs will be generated by ‘Olympicopolis’ and LLDC’s wider initiatives.

The ‘Olympicopolis’ plan pays homage to the ambition and achievement of Albertopolis, which followed the 1851 Great Exhibition, and established a constellation of museums, universities and artistic, scientific and cultural organisations in Kensington.

The Culture and Education Quarter – at the epicentre of the plan – is expected to generate £5 billion (US $8.5 bn) Gross Value Added for the area by 2030, as it reinforces and enhances London’s reputation as a creative capital – and the world’s favourite visitor destination.

Situated on a waterfront site and immediately north of the London Aquatics Centre, the scheme will bring together a range of artistic and educational partners within one integrated development, including the V&A, University of the Arts London and Sadler’s Wells. These globally-respected institutions will become resources for local people, artists, students, and audiences from London and beyond. Within a short walk of the competition site, University College London (UCL), one of the world’s leading universities (known for its strong commitment to culture, heritage, technology art and design) will establish a new campus. UCL is working collaboratively with the V&A.

The project is intended to encourage formal and serendipitous interactions between visitors and local people with curators, experts, practitioners and teachers in the arts, education, science and technology.

The Park’s emerging attractions will be to hand – its ample green space and riverine landscape, its pleasure gardens and award-winning architectural and sporting landmarks.

London Legacy Development Corporation Priority Themes reflect the Corporation’s social, economic, and environmental purposes and drive its mission. They include ‘Convergence’: the principle that within 20 years the residents who hosted the world’s biggest event will enjoy the same social and economic chances as their neighbours across London.

  • Promoting Convergence and community participation;
  • Championing equalities and inclusion;
  • Ensuring high quality design and sustainability.

LLDC’s Priority Theme policy documents can be found at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park website


Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Culture and Education Quarter is a multi-faceted design challenge, drawing on skills in masterplanning, architecture and public realm design, along with planning, engineering and cost consultancy.

Collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams are encouraged that balance seasoned experience with emerging talent.

At the heart of the integrated design will be distinctive cultural and educational institutions sharing animated public spaces. Around, and in between, will be opportunities for complementary programmed uses. The scheme will also include a significant residential element, as well as retail plus food and beverage provision. For the full Brief – see Downloads.

Teams should be structured under a lead consultant, to be identified within the submission. Additional skills may be proposed in your submission.

Each of the three founder institutions has contributed their vision to the Brief:

  • V&A – will offer everyone the opportunity to get up close to current design practice, to manufacturing and making. Central to this new V&A will be the interpretation around the extraordinary development, use and impact of digital technologies.
  • Sadler’s Wells – aims to create a dedicated flexible space for middle-scale contemporary dance in London, providing a generous stage for performers and an intimate experience for existing and new audiences. It seeks a centre for making and participation, for discovery and excellence.
  • University of the Arts London – London College of Communication will relocate to a multi-use teaching and research campus, together with central administrative functions, concentrating creativity and bringing the organisation together. UAL will occupy a campus divided between Stratford Waterfront and an adjoining site.

Space has been reserved for a fourth partner within the scheme.


Alistair Spalding

Paul Finch, OBE

Jury Chair
Programme Director,
World Architecture Festival

Paul Finch is programme director of the World Architecture Festival and editorial director of the Architectural Review and Architects’ Journal. History degree, Selwyn College, Cambridge. Editor, Building Design, 1983–94. Editor, Architects’ Journal, 1994–1999. Editor, The Architectural Review 2005–2009. Commissioner at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment 1999–2005. Chair, 2009–2014. Olympic Design Review chair 2005–2012. Co-editor, Planning in London since 1992. Honorary FRIBA 1994; Honorary member, Royal Society of Architects in Wales, 1996; honorary doctorate, University of Westminster, 2004; Honorary Fellowship, University College London, 2006; Honorary member, British Council for Offices, 2006; Honorary Fellow, Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, 2012. Honorary membership, Architectural Association 2014. OBE for services to architecture 2002.

Photo: Courtesy of i2i Events Group

Alistair Spalding

Dr. Munira Mirza

Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture

Munira advises the Mayor on his priorities for culture and education and leads the delivery of key programmes, including £40m of ‘Education and Youth’ investment in London. Munira has worked for a range of cultural and charitable organisations including the Royal Society of Arts, the independent think tank Policy Exchange and Tate. In 2009 she completed her PhD at the University of Kent. She has written and broadcast about social policy in the UK, including race relations, culture and education. Her book, The Politics of Culture: The Case for Universalism was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011. Munira is a member of Arts Council England, London Area Council; the Royal College of Music Council; and the Board of the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Photo: Greater London Authority

Alistair Spalding

Neale Coleman, CBE

Deputy Chair,
London Legacy Development Corporation

Neale Coleman is the Mayoral Advisor on Tottenham and the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy, and Deputy Chair of LLDC. He was formerly the Mayor’s Advisor on London 2012, a post he held since the first days of London’s bid in 2003. Neale was a Board member of London 2012, the Olympic Bid company, and a Board member of the Olympic Delivery Authority from its inception. He has extensive experience in major regeneration projects, has chaired the Olympic Masterplan Reference Group, which led the work during the bid to deliver the Masterplan and planning consent for the Olympic Park. He co-chaired the Olympic Delivery Group, which oversaw all work on the Games immediately after the successful bid.

Photo: London Legacy Development Corporation

Alistair Spalding

Amanda Burden

Principal at Bloomberg Associates

From 2002–2013, Ms. Burden served as the New York City Planning Commissioner, initiating comprehensive rezoning plans for 124 neighborhoods — almost 40 per cent of the city — and catalyzing significant new housing opportunities throughout New York City’s five boroughs. Ms. Burden helped launch the Midtown Community Court in Times Square. 1983–1990, she served as Vice President for Planning and Design at the Battery Park City Authority. She was the recipient of the 2009 ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. She used the honorarium from the J.C. Nichols Prize to create the Urban Land Institute Urban Open Space Award, which recognizes outstanding examples of transformative and vibrant public open space. Ms. Burden holds an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Pratt University. She was elected to serve on the Council for Foreign Relations in 2014.

Photo: David Eustace

Alistair Spalding

David Edmonds

Chairman of the Governing Board of Kingston University, Board Member of the London Legacy Development Corporation

David Edmonds started his career in the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, later the Department of the Environment, spending several years as Chief of Staff to Michael Heseltine before becoming the senior official responsible for inner city policy. He then became Chief Executive of The Housing Corporation with responsibility for a large part of the government’s social housing policy. Moving to the City, he was Managing Director of the NatWest Group’s property portfolio, where he led the rebuilding of Tower 42, major office developments in Lombard Street and St James Square, and the redevelopment of two listed historic buildings in the heart of the City. He joined the initial Board of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (now the LLDC) and has chaired its Investment Committee from the outset, responsible for all the major developments within the Olympic Park. He chairs the joint venture with the London Borough of Newham which is carrying out the transformation of the Olympic Stadium.

Photo: Courtesy of David Edmonds

Alistair Spalding

Louisa Hutton

Royal Academician
Founder of Sauerbruch Hutton

Louisa Hutton is an architect and founding partner of Sauerbruch Hutton. She is a visiting professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design. She previously taught at the Architectural Association in London. She is a member of the Curatorial Board of the Schelling Architecture Foundation, and was a Commissioner at CABE and a member of the Steering Committee for Germany’s Federal Foundation for Baukultur. In 2014 Louisa Hutton was elected as a Royal Academician of Arts. Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch received the Erich Schelling Prize for Architecture in 1998 and the Fritz Schumacher Prize for Architecture in 2003, the International Honour Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2010 and the Gottfried-Semper-Architekturpreis 2013. Sauerbruch and Hutton gained international renown for their early engagement with sustainability in architecture and urbanism. Their office is best known for the Brandhorst Museum in Munich (2009), the Federal Environmental Agency in Dessau (2005) and the GSW Headquarters in Berlin (1999).

Photo: Kalle Koponen

Alistair Spalding

Martin Roth

Victoria and Albert Museum

Martin Roth became Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in September 2011. Before this, he was Director General of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, overseeing 12 museums and galleries. During this time he created an extensive network of international partners, leading to numerous exhibitions overseas. From 1996–2001 Martin Roth was a member of senior management of the Expo 2000 in Hanover and Director of Thematic Exhibitions. From 1991 to 2000 he was Director of the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden, the first German science museum, and prior to that he was Curator at the Deutsche Historische Museum (1989-2001). He remains a personal member of the German Olympic Sports Federation. Martin Roth is a Trustee of the British Council and of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. He is a member of both the Council of the Royal College of Art and the Court of Imperial College in London.

Photo: Thierry Bal

Alistair Spalding

Martha Thorne

Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Associate Dean of IE School of Architecture & Design

Martha Thorne has occupied the position of Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize since 2005. She is also Associate Dean of IE School of Architecture & Design, Madrid/Segovia. From 1996 to 2005, she was curator at the Department of Architecture at The Art Institute of Chicago. She is the editor and author of several books on contemporary architecture, and author of numerous articles for architectural journals and encyclopedias. Ms. Thorne received a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennyslvania and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Affairs from the State University of New York. She undertook additional studies at the London School of Economics. She served on the Board of Trustees of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the Board of Advisors of the International Archive of Women in Architecture. She currently sits on the Board of Advisors for IE Higher Education and the jury for the ArchVision Women in Architecture Prize.

Photo: Courtesy of IE University

Alistair Spalding

Alistair Spalding, CBE

Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Under Spalding, Sadler’s Wells has become the UK’s leading venue for dance, presenting a highly ambitious programme of cutting-edge dance in all forms, hosting world-class national and international companies and artists. In 2005, he announced his vision for Sadler’s Wells to become a producing house. He has since driven the commissioning, producing and co-producing of more than 80 shows, including acclaimed cross-art-form collaborations zero degrees, PUSH and Sutra. Spalding also created the position of Associate Artist to the theatre. There are currently 16 Associate Artists. He was appointed as a national member of the Arts Council of England Board in January 2009. He was awarded Le Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the French Embassy in October 2005. In June 2012, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Dance. In July 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Middlesex University.

Photo: Courtesy of Sadler’s Wells

Alistair Spalding

Nigel Carrington

University of the Arts London

Nigel Carrington is the Vice-Chancellor of University of the Arts London, which has over 19,000 students across six Colleges and is Europe’s largest university for the study of arts, design, fashion, communication and performance. Over 40% of the University’s students are international and the University has an extensive network of relationships with peer institutions across the world. Before joining the University in September 2008, Nigel’s career was in the commercial sector, including 21 years with Baker & McKenzie, the international law firm, where he was Managing Partner of the London Office and Chairman of the Firm’s European Region, and seven years as Managing Director and Deputy Chairman of the McLaren Group, the world-leader in high performance automotive design and production. In addition to his responsibilities at University of the Arts London, Nigel holds a number of non-executive positions in the public and charitable sectors. He was educated at St John’s College Oxford (Law) and The Courtauld Institute of Art (History of Art).

Photo: University of the Arts, London

Alistair Spalding

Malcolm Reading

Adviser to Jury
Architect and Competition Adviser,
Malcolm Reading Consultants

The Competition is being managed by Malcolm Reading Consultants. MRC has managed international architectural competitions for many UK Museums, including the V&A, National Maritime Museum and Natural History Museum. Its portfolio also includes competitions for the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation, Mumbai City Museum, Glasgow School of Art and the Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow. Malcolm Reading is an architect and was previously Director of Design and Architecture at the British Council. A Trustee of the UK charity Historic Royal Palaces (2005–2014), he is Chairman of the Tower of London UNESCO World Heritage Site Consultative Committee, as well as Trustee of Edinburgh World Heritage, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is the current President of the Prix W architectural prize and a judge of the World Architecture News 21 for 21 Award and AIA (American Institute of Architects) UK Excellence in Design award.

Photo: Vibeke Dahl


The documents below contain the information available to competitors for the first stage of the competition. They are provided for use by entrants for their competition submissions only.



All enquiries relating to the competition should be emailed to the independent competition organisers, Malcolm Reading Consultants.

During the pre-qualification stage no contact should be made with the London Legacy Development Corporation, their employees, stakeholders or contractors as this may lead to disqualification from the competition.

Please note that the shortlist was announced in December 2014, and Stage Two is now underway.

Media enquiries

All media enquiries to:

Press Office at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
[email protected]
+ 44 (0)20 3734 9010

Competition Enquiries

For general competition information, please contact:

Jayne Broomhall
[email protected]
+ 44 (0) 20 7831 2998


Registration is now closed.