The decision is said to be based on cost-cutting measures. Moving east is hoped to save the GLA millions, freeing up funds to help protect front-line public services and support London’s economic recovery. The move also supports the ongoing regeneration of the Royal Docks area, which The Crystal and the adjacent WilkinsonEyre designed Emirates Air Line cable car terminal are both part of.
Soon to be renamed City Hall, The Crystal was originally designed as both an exhibition centre and think tank, providing a forum for debate on sustainable urban living and development. The all-glass building challenges conventional ideas on sustainability, championing the use of advanced technology to minimise energy use and as such has exemplary sustainability credentials, receiving BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Platinum ratings on completion.
Already owned by the Authority, the building is currently occupied by the Royal Docks Delivery team and continues to host an NLA programme and exhibition showcasing the Royal Docks and wider East London development. The Crystal will be repurposed by Architecture 00 and a change of use application, which includes the creation of a new chamber and committee rooms, has been submitted to Newham Council.
Sebastien Ricard, WilkinsonEyre director and project lead of The Crystal said ‘The building was designed with flexibility in mind as part of the overall sustainability strategy and the GLA is in a great position to push the agenda much further in the way the building is retrofitted, to push the environmental performance still further.’