Plans for a new cultural and educational hub on the London 2012 Olympic site are to go ahead, London Mayor Sadiq Khan told The Art Newspaper on Wednesday night (17 August).
Former London Mayor, Boris Johnson, announced major new plans for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2014. Dubbed ‘Olympicopolis’ in an ode to South Kensington’s 86 acre ‘Albertopolis’ museum precinct, the new quarter on the Stratford waterfront was to bring together ‘art, dance, history, craft, science, technology and cutting edge design’. The new development was to be occupied by The Victoria and Albert Museum, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, The University of the Arts London and University College London. Two years on, the Labour mayor has dropped the name ‘Olympicopolis’ but remains determined to proceed with developing the arts project.
Announcing the plans at an event to launch London’s autumn season of cultural events, it was revealed the site has been renamed East London’s Heritage and Cultural Quarter. With London’s “brilliant museums and galleries” clustered in the centre of the capital, Khan told the audience “we can’t rest on our laurels”. “In the next few weeks and months I will be announcing plans to make sure we enrich the lives of Londoners in that part of London—and that we have something that is attractive to visitors from around the country and the world”, he said. It was also announced that the future V&A East, which will be designed to complement the existing V&A sites, will exhibit displays from Washington’s Smithsonian Institution.