Olympia London owners Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance have announced that Heatherwick Studio, in collaboration with SPPARC Architects, will be leading the architectural enhancement of the London venue.
The project will see the 130-year-old exhibition centre transformed into a world-leading arts, entertainment, exhibition and experiential district whilst staying true to its original heritage as an exhibition business. The site is based on a 14-and-a-half-acre site in Kensington.
John Hitchcox, chairman of Yoo Capital, said: “When we took over as caretaker of Olympia London, we vowed to celebrate its iconic heritage. By working with world respected design firm Heatherwick Studio, we are staying true to this promise and ensuring that Olympia London is elevated on the world stage as a must-visit exhibition, events and leisure destination.”
Heatherwick Studio, the designer of the 2012 Olympic cauldron and London’s abortive Garden Bridge project, has been tasked with improving the current customer offer with enhanced communal areas and retail units whilst retaining its features. EN understands the initiative is part of a £1bn investment on the entire site.
Designer Thomas Heatherwick commented: “My studio’s passion is improving the public experience of cities for everyone. During this first phase we are beginning to talk to people, particularly local residents and visitors, to learn more about Olympia London and are looking forward to working on the project.”
The potential for the estate includes a new hotel, theatre and entertainment venues, as well as museums, co-working spaces and innovative new restaurants.
The exhibition centre was first built in 1886 as the National Agricultural Hall. Today it is home to more than 220 exhibitions and events each year including the Olympia Horse Show and Stylist Live.
Lloyd Lee, managing partner of Yoo Capital, added: “We are honoured to be long-term owners and caretakers of this magnificent estate. Our Victorian forefathers first conceived Olympia London to be a destination for all people to see, learn and experience major exhibitions, events in culture, music, technology, arts and sports. We are listening to local stakeholders Hammersmith and Fulham Council, the Greater London Authority, exhibition organisers and the local community to ensure Olympia London achieves its original vision.”
The evolution will significantly enrich the current offering at Olympia London, whilst retaining key events throughout the enhancement.
“We are delighted to represent a consortium of long term investors, including leading German institutions, and work with our partner Yoo Capital and Olympia’s management team, to invest in and enhance the Olympia London experience for visitors and the wider community, “ Gavin Neilan, co-managing partner of Deutsche Finance International, concluded.