a pleated glass canopy by heatherwick studio rises amid london's olympia site

a pleated glass canopy by heatherwick studio rises amid london's olympia site

heatherwick studio completes iconic glass canopy in olympia

 

London‘s most ambitious regeneration project, Olympia, has today revealed its transformative glass canopy, designed by Heatherwick Studio. This architectural milestone marks a pivotal moment in the project’s evolution from an exhibition destination to a global landmark for culture and entertainment. Celebrating the original architectural innovation of the 138-year-old exhibition halls, designed by Sir Henry Edward Coe, the project will enhance the experience of the revitalized masterplan, creating 2.5 acres of new publicly-accessible open space, packed out with restaurants and bars and a lush roof garden with views over the capital, created for future visitors and the local community to enjoy. 

a pleated glass canopy by heatherwick studio rises amid london's olympia site
all images courtesy Heatherwick Studio

 

 

five large curved structural steel arches echo the site’s past

 

The glass canopy by Heatherwick Studio (see more here) consists of five large curved structural steel arches, each with a span of 22 meters. The transparent roof, constructed of 520 rectangular low-iron glass panels, covers nearly 1,000 square meters with a pleated glazing motif inspired by the fcçade of the Grade II* listed Grand Hall. Paying homage to the barrel vaults, the structure establishes a visual link to Olympia’s storied past while embracing cutting-edge and pioneering design, showcasing sustainable practices that optimizes glass panel usage to minimize waste and improve overall material efficiency. 

a pleated glass canopy by heatherwick studio rises amid london's olympia site
image © Raquel Diniz

 

 

Situated above ground level, the canopy structure fans out to form an inviting gesture from afar. Echoing the continuous arched shape of the Grade II* listed Grand Hall and Grade II listed National Hall sitting adjacent to it, the canopy is clearly visible from the bustle of Hammersmith Road below, tempting pedestrians to ascend the escalators and investigate. This connection to the street is crucial to opening up the new Olympia and enhancing public access distinctively. The mezzanine level will offer public seating amid landscaping, providing visitors and the local community a new perspective through the clear span of the historic exhibition roofs, which have sat above Olympia for many decades. Forming part of the development, several concepts of premium dining and drinking experiences will bring an additional lifestyle offering, further invigorating Olympia as an animated new hub for the neighborhood.

a pleated glass canopy by heatherwick studio rises amid london's olympia site
image © Raquel Diniz

 

 

olympia to become a new major destination in london

 

Olympia was once a people’s palace – a place to come together and experience unusual things. Having lost its way over the years, we’re now working to bring back its original spirit and make Olympia open and available to everyone. At the heart of this mission is the new central canopy. Influenced by the vaulted glass roofs of the original exhibition halls, the new canopy will be the beginning of a world-class public space that’s available to everyone, whether you’re attending a show at the new theatre, work in one of the nearby offices or are simply passing by,‘ shares Thomas Heatherwick. 

 

Once completed, Olympia will blend the exhibition halls with two world-class hotels, a buzzing F&B with 30+ restaurants, a live music hall managed by AEG Presents, a theatre by the Trafalgar Entertainment Group,  the Wetherby Performing Arts School, a partnership with The BRIT School, and of state of the art offices. This destination is projected to attract over 10 million visitors annually. Olympia is currently under development by real estate groups Yoo Capital and DFl, and is co-designed by SPPARC

a pleated glass canopy by heatherwick studio rises amid london's olympia site
image © Raquel Diniz

a pleated glass canopy by heatherwick studio rises amid london's olympia site
image © Raquel Diniz

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