Here East. Credit: Rory Gardiner; Here East. Credit: Rory Gardiner;

Here East, London

Transforming the London Olympic Games Media Centre into Here East, a creative hub for tech, learning and innovation

Since London hosted the Olympics in 2012, transformation has continued in Queen Elizabeth Park. Here East, will use the facilities and technology created for the games to create a unique campus for creative and digital industries.

Global corporates will sit alongside small start-ups whilst the essence of making and innovation will be captured by the people who will produce and manufacture on site.  Here East is now Europe’s most advanced creative and digital hub consisting 1.2 million square feet (ft²) of commercial, retail social, media and education space.

Here East consists of three separate buildings; the former International Broadcast Centre, the former Press Centre, and the former Media Conference Centre, which involved over one million ft² of space requiring transformation. A former two storey service gantry to the rear of the Broadcast Centre will be redeveloped to accommodate studios for designers, artists and crafts people. 

Arup has been providing a multidisciplinary design offering consisting of structural, geotechnical, building services and civil engineering. 


Project Summary

1.2 million ft² of commercial and retail space

750 seatauditorium

300,000ft²Innovation Hub

Reusing and repurposing the existing buildings

To achieve their goal of reusing as much of the existing structure and materials as possible, Arup’s structural engineers developed a design approach to limit strengthening to the existing foundations and found innovative and efficient ways for the design and construction where this was required.

Detailed assessments of the building structure allowed a significant increase in space, revealing the capacity for three additional floorplates and creating double height spaces for atria and an auditorium without strengthening any of the existing columns.

© Rory Gardiner

Working in a shared 3D BIM environment allowed Arup's multidisciplinary team to coordinate and integrate the building services into the structural elements of the building. This approach allowed the design team to maximise floor heights, opening the space and allowing a double-height space at the top of the building, accommodating a diverse range of workspaces.  

The coordination included the architecture of the building and through close collaboration with the architect, the project team ensured that the building preserved the architectural intent and met the client’s expectations for its appearance. This applied in particular to the large amount of structural elements that are exposed within the building as well as integrating structural elements into finishes to meet the architect’s vision. 

Around 3,000 unique panels of unitised glazed curtain walling, weighing a total of 450 tonnes, now cover the south, west and east elevations providing a light, bright workspace inside. Detailed movement analysis and stiffening of the steel frame at the façade elevations have been undertaken to make the structure compatible with the performance requirements of the new façade.

By using BIM technology and through close collaboration with the contractor and the project team the design was delivered to budget, within programme and without disrupting the existing tenants

Maintaining a sustainable Olympic legacy

Reusing buildings such as the international broadcast centre is an important part of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games. 

The structural engineering techniques used on this project made it possible to reuse the vast majority of the building. Where new materials were needed, such as to strengthen the foundations, more sustainable alternatives like cement replacement were chosen.

Inside Here East Inside Here East
Thanks partly to energy-saving measures such as solar shading and a connection to the local district heating system, the building has achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. © Rory Gardiner

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 ” Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

Elsewhere on the site, the gantry structure (used to house plant for the broadcast and media centres during the Games) was due to be demolished, but this steel-framed structure will now be converted into studio spaces.

Here East will be a new hub for creativity and innovation in East London, easily accessible on public transport and surrounded by parkland. It is expected to attract creative businesses and technology companies, and it is already catalysing further regeneration in the area.

Designed to be flexible with future use in mind, Here East has the connectivity, infrastructure and state-of-the-art utilities for a range of different potential uses in the future.

The gantry at Here East The gantry at Here East


RIBA London Awards 2019 - Regional Award
BCO National Awards 2018 - Refurbished/Recycled Workplace
AJ Retrofit Awards 2018 - Offices (over 10k m²)
AJ100 Awards 2018 - Building of the Year
AJ100 Awards 2018 - Best Use of Technology