Here East\

Building London's Olympic legacy

A ground-breaking scheme to transform the former Press and Broadcast Centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into 1.2 million sq ft of commercial space for London’s creative and digital industries.

Here East is made up of three buildings; the 850,000 sq ft former Broadcast Centre, the 300,000 sq ft former Press Centre, and a new 750-seat auditorium, totalling over one million sq ft of space to be transformed into London’s home for making.

Here East is already home to BT Sport, and is rapidly fulfilling an ambition to create a community of offices, restaurants, and studio space, alongside new East London bases for UCL, Loughborough University and Hackney Community College. Artists who have established studios in the building include award winning dance choreographer and director Wayne McGregor.

Here East complements the "Olympicopolis" vision for the former 2012 site which will host new outposts for the V&A, Sadler's Wells Theatre and the London College of Fashion.

“Here East, a world leading digital hub, will provide thousands of high quality jobs and be a real jewel in the crown of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”

The Mayor of London

Where Large Embraces Small

To generate the Here East masterplan we looked to neighbouring Hackney Wick for inspiration. Its tight knit light industrial factories and yards are home to the highest concentration of artists anywhere in Europe. The lively and organic hinterland suggested to us ways we could make a series of huge buildings more manageable, social and dynamic, and create a structure with the potential to evolve. This helped us to design an environment - an ecosystem - to incubate a diverse range and scale of businesses, with a ‘life support system’ of bars, cafes and restaurants and a pleasant communal landscape encouraging interaction and collaboration.

To make environmental and commercial sense of the 850,000 sq ft former Broadcast Centre we imagined it as a ‘crust’ and a ‘core’. We removed the windowless façade to create a 16m deep outer layer of flexible work, studio and retail spaces around the perimeter of the building - maximising natural daylight, ventilation and views - and converted the heart of the deep plan into state of the art broadcast studios for BT Sport and the data centre.


digitally printed dots
Providing solar shading to the new facade

Building a Creative Community

The ground floor of the Press Centre has been converted into the Innovation Hub; a 300,000 sq ft, double-height space accommodating a diverse range of co-workspaces. The adjacent landscaped canalside is now home to a number of attractive cafes and bars, with retractable glazed fronts and outdoor seating to optimise the views. The Yard features facilities for outdoor cinema, markets, and public events, providing a civic focus for the campus. The Theatre, a 950-seat auditorium with high-end conferencing technology will be used by Here East tenants, for product launches, talks, screenings, exhibitions and presentations, and also by the local community for cultural events.

The Gantry

The Gantry, which looks out over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, has been fitted out with a series of bespoke studio-shed structures and external making spaces for artists, designers and craftspeople to design and manufacture on site, participating in Here East’s entrepreneurial ethos.

  • Project Details
  • Materials
  • Collaboration
  • Sustainability
  • Social Value

Project Summary

Project Team

Digital Designer: Poke
Brand Consultants: dn&co
Project Management: Colliers International
Quantity Surveyor/Cost Consultant: Gardiner and Theobald
Structural/M&E Engineers: Buro Happold
Environmental Engineers: Cundall
Landscape Architects: LDA Landscape


  • RICS Social Impact Awards 2020 - Project of the year - Winner
  • RICS Social Impact Awards 2020 - Commercial - Winner
  • Blueprint Awards 2019 - Best Building Re-Use Project - Shortlisted
  • RIBA London Awards 2019 - Regional Award - Winner
  • BCO National Awards 2018 - Refurbished / Recycled Workplace - Winner
  • AJ Retrofit Awards 2018 - Offices (over 10k sqm) - Winner
  • World Architecture Festival Awards 2018 - Mixed Use - Completed Buildings - Finalist
  • New London Awards 2018 - Mayor's Prize - Shortlisted
  • New London Awards 2018 - Workplaces - Commendation
  • AJ100 Awards 2018 - Building of the Year - Winner
  • AJ100 Awards 2018 - Best Use of Technology - Winner
  • RIBA Awards 2018 - London Regional Award - Shortlisted
  • LABC Building Excellence Awards 2017 - Best Large Commercial Project - Finalist
  • LABC Building Excellence Awards 2017 - Best Change of Use of an Existing Building or Conversion - Finalist
  • London Planning Awards 2016 - Best New Place to Work - Shortlisted
  • BCI Awards 2016 - Major Building Project of the Year (over £50m) - Finalist
  • New London Awards 2015 - Mayor's Prize - Commendation
  • New London Awards 2015 - Mixed-Use - Shortlisted


The new façade to the former Broadcast Centre has been developed as a taut unitised glazed envelope. Hawkins\Brown created a ceramic frit to the glass that uses parametric data to deliver optimised solar control – maximising views and daylight whilst minimising solar gain. The overall graphic softens the mass of the building, and lends it a distinctive visual character. Bold three storey high cuts, balconies and rain canopies contribute further to breaking up the 300m long elevation.


We collaborated with digital design agency Poke and graphic design agency dn&co from the beginning of the project, developing the proposals with these creative partners to ensure we designed a place that meets the exacting standards of the target market.


Two of the three buildings we have refurbished were due to be dismantled after the Olympic Games, but through careful design, and extensive local consultation, the team have shown how they could be successfully brought back into use in their current location. While creating a new digital tech quarter for London, Here East is innately sustainable by ensuring the reuse of existing buildings over an area of eight hectares and supporting sustainable business practices.

A lean, clean and green energy hierarchy was adopted from the outset of the design and planning process. Innovations in envelope design have been introduced to reduce energy requirement, and the finished project draws low carbon energy from the King’s Yard Energy Centre. In addition, on-site renewable energy sources have been adopted where appropriate.

A 40% improvement over Part L of the Building Regulations and BREEAM Excellent has been achieved through incorporation of the following measures:

  • Efficient façade to replace existing fabric on IBC
  • Connection to the site wide Kings Yard Combined Cooling and Heating Plant and non-potable water system
  • Grey water recycling
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Up to 9% site wide renewable energy
  • Landscaping to improve biodiversity
  • Use of local materials with low embodied energy
  • Onsite recycling facilities and composting

Social Value

Our approach to social value goes way beyond architecture, it’s about improving the social, environmental, and economic wellbeing of places to positively transform people’s lives, all while delivering commercial value for our clients.

Our researcher Michael Riebel, with the support of experts Hatch/Regeneris, has revisited six of our completed projects including Here East and applied a broad range of socio-economic metrics. You can download the case study here.

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