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HomeMedia NewsHEATHERWICK STUDIO UNVEILS ICONIC GLASS CANOPY, THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN OF...

HEATHERWICK STUDIO UNVEILS ICONIC GLASS CANOPY, THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN OF REIMAGINED OLYMPIA

– £1.3bn redevelopment is one step closer to becoming London’s newest cultural and entertainment destination

LONDON, June 11, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Olympia, London’s most ambitious regeneration project currently under development by Yoo Capital and DFl, has today revealed its transformative glass canopy, designed by globally renowned Heatherwick Studio. This architectural milestone marks a pivotal moment in Olympia’s evolution from an exhibition destination, to a global landmark for culture and entertainment.

The Canopy at Olympia, Designed by Heatherwick Studio, Credit: Raquel Diniz
The Canopy at Olympia, Designed by Heatherwick Studio, Credit: Raquel Diniz

A Blend of Heritage and Innovation

Celebrating the original architectural innovation of the 138-year old exhibition halls, designed by Sir Henry Edward Coe, Heatherwick Studio’s visionary new design aims to enhance the public experience of the revitalised 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. 

The canopy is a remarkable feat of engineering, consisting of five large curved structural steel arches, each with a span of 22 metres. The transparent roof, constructed of 520 rectangular low-iron glass panels, covers nearly 1,000 square metres with a pleated glazing motif inspired by the façade 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 optimises glass panel usage to minimise waste and improve overall material efficiency. 

John Hitchcox, Chairman at YOO Group: “Olympia’s transformation is more than a brick-and-mortar project; it’s about cultivating a thriving community. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to collaborate with the renowned Heatherwick Studio on this bold vision and excited to reveal the canopy – the crown jewel of the design. This soaring structure will represent Olympia’s welcoming embrace, encouraging visitors to explore the vibrant tapestry of culture and entertainment woven into the heart of the new Olympia.”

A Gateway to Connectivity and Community

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 in a distinctive way. 

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 so 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 neighbourhood.

Thomas Heatherwick, Founder of Heatherwick Studio: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.”

Once completed, Olympia is set to become a global powerhouse for events, entertainment, and innovation. This one of a kind redevelopment, co-designed by Heatherwick Studio and SPPARC, will boast a diverse and expansive range of offerings, seamlessly blending the iconic exhibition halls with two world-class hotels; a buzzing F&B boasting 30+ restaurants; a live music hall managed by AEG Presents; a prestigious 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 dynamic destination is projected to attract over 10 million visitors annually, solidifying Olympia’s place as a ‘must-visit’ attraction in London.

Frank RoccoGrande, Founding Partner at DFl: “Steeped in 138 years of history, Olympia is a site with immense potential waiting to be unlocked. After years of redevelopment in the making, the visionary canopy by Heatherwick Studio will mark a significant milestone towards unveiling Olympia’s true potential. We are delighted to be part of this transformation of a landmark for cultural experiences, leisure, and business ventures – all in the heart of London. This is an investment opportunity unlike any other.”

For more information, please visit Olympia.co.uk  

Olympia Masterplan
Olympia Masterplan

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