Here East \

Creative start-ups and tech giants sit side-by-side at London’s home for making

Ground-breaking scheme to transform the former press and broadcast centres on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into 1.2 million sqft of commercial space for London’s creative and digital industries.

London's Home for Making

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 750-seat auditorium, totalling over one million square feet of space to be transformed into London’s home for making.

Here East is already home to BT Sport, and the ambition is to create a community of offices, restaurants, studio space, and a data centre alongside new facilities for UCL, Loughborough University and Hackney Community College.

“I'm delighted that the plans for Here East, which will become a world leading digital hub have been approved. It will provide thousands of high quality jobs and be a real jewel in the crown of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson

Where Big Meets Small

To generate the Here East master plan 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. It suggested to us ways we could make a series of huge buildings more manageable, social and dynamic, and create a core structure with the potential to evolve. This helped us to design an environment, and ecosystem, to incubate a diverse range and scale of businesses, with a ‘life support system’ of bars, cafes and restaurants and a communal landscape to promote 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’, removing the windowless façade to create a 16m deep ‘crust’ of flexible work, studio and retail spaces around the perimeter of the building, maximising natural daylight, ventilation and views, and converting the ‘core’ into the data centre and state of the art broadcast studios BT Sport.


digitally printed dots
Providing solar shading to the new facade

Building a Creative Community

The ground floor of the Press Centre is being converted into a innovation hub; a 300,000 sq ft, double-height space to accommodate a diverse range of co-workspaces. The canalside, designed to bring social exchange to the new community, will be home to an array of artisan bakers, coffee roasters and craft brewers.The Yard will feature an outdoor cinema, markets, and public event space, providing a social centre for the campus. The Theatre, a 950-seat auditorium with high-end conferencing technology will be used by Here East, for product launches, talks, screenings, exhibitions and presentations, and the local community for cultural events. The Gantry, which looks out over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is being made into a series of bespoke studio structures and external yard spaces for artists, designers and craftspeople to design and manufacture on site, encouraging Here East’s entrepreneurial ethos.

Under Construction

Construction work is accelerating at Here East, with the development due to be completed by the middle of 2016.

The glazed facade along the northern facade of the Broadcast Centre is now almost complete, with work now progressing along the west. The glass has been digitally printed with a ceramic frit, creating a large scale pattern that wraps around the building. The pattern was inspired by the optical illusions of WW1 dazzle ships and serves to reduce the apparent mass and scale of the building. Through the glazing is visible the intense orange colour of the steel structure behind.

With the first parts of the facade due to complete soon, the next major milestones will include the fit out of the first entrance areas, including reception desks and suspended meeting pods.

  • Project Details
  • Materials
  • Collaboration
  • Sustainability

Project Summary

Project Team

Colliers International
Gardiner and Theobald
Buro Happold
LDA Landscape


  • 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 taught unitised glazed envelope. We have 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 breaks up the mass of the building, and lends it a distinctive character. Bold three storey high cuts, balconies and rain canopies contribute further to humanising 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 demands of its target market.


The project creates a new digital tech quarter for London, which is innately sustainable by ensuring the reuse of existing buildings over an area of eight hectares and encouraging sustainable business practices.

A lean, clean and green hierarchy system, as recommended in the London Plan 2011, has been adopted. New elements of envelope have been introduced to reduce energy use and the project will benefit from low carbon energy from the King’s Yard Energy Centre. In addition, on-site renewable energy sources have been used where appropriate.

Two of the three buildings we are refurbishing 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. Large spans of 8-24m between columns has increased the adaptability of the buildings post Games.

A 40% improvement over Part L of the Building Regulations and BREEAM Excellent is achieved due to the following measures being incorporated:
  • 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 

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