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Aerial View of Proposed Plan, Olympicopolis | Courtesy of LLDC
Aerial View of Proposed Plan, Olympicopolis | Courtesy of LLDC
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Olympicopolis At London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Picture of Zainab Musa
Updated: 3 January 2017
The Olympicopolis, a new development in Stratford, London, will be built just a stone’s throw away from the Olympic Stadium, providing a cultural outlet for the Olympic legacy of inspiring a generation. A number of world-class institutions will be introduced, including UCL East, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, V&A Museum and the Smithsonian. The Olympicopolis, set to open in 2020-21, will be a cultural package, uniting the very best of art, history, dance, science, design and technology.

A Boost To Culture And Education

The 2012 Olympic Games left behind a legacy to inspire many and with the help of the Olympicopolis, this legacy will develop the next generation through culture and education. University College London (UCL) plans to create a campus in the Olympic Park and will be a part of East London’s dynamic new cultural district. Serving as the bridge between education and attainment from East to West, it will be an environment that overcomes barriers in research and education. University of the Arts London (UAL) will also be opening a new campus for its London College of Fashion and this will be situated along the Stratford Waterfront. The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) will also occupy the Olympicopolis, becoming the first museum that will dedicate its space to showcase digital art and design. Sadler’s Wells, along with their other theatres across London, will help establish London as a major dance centre by creating a 600 seat dance theatre in Olympicopolis. The facilities will include a Choreographic School and a Hip Hop Academy for all who want to learn to dance or increase their knowledge of the subject. Not to mention, Washington, D.C.’s iconic Smithsonian museum complex will be making it’s UK debut here at the new site.

Proposed plan, featuring Olympic Stadium and the ArcelorMittal Orbit | Courtesy of LLDC
Proposed plan, featuring Olympic Stadium and the ArcelorMittal Orbit | Courtesy of LLDC

A Cultural District With Economic Value

Olympicopolis will be designed by architecture firm Allies and Morrison, after they won the international competition to design this new area. In December 2014, The Treasury said they would provide funding of £141 million, alongside UCL spending £270 million and some funding still expected to be covered by private backers and donors. The Olympicopolis scheme will provide an estimated 3,000 jobs, with visitor numbers expected to reach 1.5 million. The UCL campus is expected to open in the academic year of 2018-19.

Olympic Stadium (London) illuminated, 3 August 2012 | © Magnus Manske / Wikicommons
Olympic Stadium (London) illuminated, 3 August 2012 | © Magnus Manske / Wikicommons

But, Where Did The Name Come From?

The first half (Olympic) deriving simply from the fact that this new site is on the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The second (opolis), from Albertopolis. In 1851, Prince Albert’s vision for South Kensington saw grand buildings towering over, featuring the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Albert Hall; thus calling it Albertopolis.

It seems only fitting that the new buildings that will tower over the Olympic Park is named Olympicopolis.

Aerial View of Proposed Plan, Olympicopolis (Left to right: residential towers, London College of Fashion, the Smithsonian, Sadler's Wells and the V&A) | Courtesy of LLDC
Aerial View of Proposed Plan, Olympicopolis (Left to right: residential towers, London College of Fashion, the Smithsonian, Sadler’s Wells and the V&A) | Courtesy of LLDC