The Crystal, Royal Victoria Dock, London

Wilkinson Eyre
Date Built
One Siemens Brothers Way, Royal Victoria Docks
The Crystal occupies a waterside site on the Royal Docks in the East End of London.  It had the ExCel Exhibition and Convention Centre as a neighbour and is linked to the O2 Arena by the Emirates Airline Cable Car that spans the Thames. 

This iconic building contains an exhibition hall, conference facilities, meeting rooms and office spaces.  Siemens, the owners and operators of the building, describe it as, “ ... an independent global hub for debate on sustainable urban living and development. It hosts the world’s largest exhibition on the future of cities and is the first building in the world to reach both BREEAM® Outstanding and LEED® Platinum status. ....

... Sophisticated and integrated active and passive design elements make it one of the most sustainable buildings in the world.”
  Siemens point out that because of the building’s ground source heat pumps it receives no heating bills.

Wilkinson Eyre, who designed the building, say that the architectural concept was, “...based on two interlocking parallelogram forms with multiple triangular facets. Its crystalline geometry responds to its special location and contrasts with the curve of the O2 Arena beyond. ....

... A palette of reflective and transparent materials catches the light in different ways to create a dynamic composition on the waterfront.”

Kieran Long writing in the Evening Standard on October 3, 2012, described the building as, “ ... a shiny stealth bomber of a building that is the £30 million home of German technology behemoth Siemens’ Global Centre of Competence in Cities.”

Open House London says that, “ ... as a world-class centre for dialogue, discovery and learning, it reveals the challenges that cities face, and the ways we can reduce their environmental impact using sustainable technologies, many available today.”