London Mayor Boris Johnson initially outlined the vision for the ‘Olympicopolis’, in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in December. The plan takes inspiration from Prince Albert’s ‘Albertopolis’ – the Exhibition Road area in South Kensington that houses institutions including the V&A, Science Museum and Natural History Museum, created using the proceeds of the 1851 Great Exhibition.
The design competition to find architects, masterplanners, place makers, engineers and landscape designers for the project is set to launch in September.
The open first stage of the competition will seek Expressions of Interest from multi-disciplinary teams with relevant experience. According to Malcolm Reading Consultants, which is running the process, it is anticipated that from these, five finalists will be selected to submit concept designs during the second stage with the winning team being announced in March 2015.
Moira Gemmill, director of design and FuturePlan at the V&A, says, ‘Design is extremely powerful. It can change people’s perception of a place. It can bring great economic benefit. The ambition for the V&A in Stratford is to embody these principles in a great 21st century museum building within a great 21st century development.
‘As we finalise our architectural brief we look forward to the international competition that will seek out the very best talent to design an extraordinary V&A for the future.’
As part of the project, which will bring together design, arts and science institutions, University College London will be building a major new campus adjacent to the Stratford Waterfront site.