Heatherwick Studio and SPPARC get planning approval for London Olympia transformation

Olympia London architecture transformation
Plans to transform Olympia London into a world-leading cultural hub have gained planning permission
(Image credit: TBC)

The plans to transform London Olympia from an exhibition centre to an arts, entertainment, events and creative business quarter has just won planning approval.. The 132-year-old architectural landmark has been due for a refresh and award-winning practices Heatherwick Studio and SPPARC have been collaborating on a striking design that will turn the venue into a unique cultural hub for the London capital.

The large-scale project will consist of two hotels and several restaurants, a 1,000-seat performing arts venue and a separate theatre, a cinema, and state-of-the-art office space – ensuring there's something for everybody. The scheme will also create a striking 2.5 acres of new public space.

The project is led by celebrated practices Heatherwick Studio and SPPARC

The project is led by celebrated practices Heatherwick Studio and SPPARC

(Image credit: TBC)

‘We’re excited to have the opportunity to work on this important but neglected piece of historic London, transforming Olympia into a revitalised place, not only for exhibitions but also for arts, culture, and entertainment’, says Thomas Heatherwick. ‘Celebrating the original architectural innovation of the 132-year old exhibition halls, our vision aims to enhance the public experience of the site by creating over two acres of new publicly-accessible space for visitors and the local community to enjoy.'

Meanwhile SPARCC principle Trevor Morriss has highlighted how inspiring the project's context and rich history has been to the team, during the design process. ‘[The scheme] will position Olympia London as a thriving hub for creativity and innovation', he adds. 

The ambitious plan is set to begin next year, with the first tenants scheduled to start moving in by 2023.

London Olympia transformation renders

The transformation is set to begin next year

(Image credit: TBC)

London Olympia tranformation

The large-scale project will include leading hotels and restaurants, performance venues and state-of-the-art office space

(Image credit: TBC)

London Olympia architectural transformation

The complex will also include a striking sky garden at the top

(Image credit: TBC)


For more information visit the website of Heatherwick Studio and the website of SPPARC

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).