Olympicopolis competition winner announced

Allies & Morrison scoop prize from exceptional international shortlist

A M Viewfrombridge
  • Allies and Morrison bid wins Stratford Waterfront international competition
  • RIBA Gold Medal winners O’Donnell & Tuomey part of winning team
  • Six high quality finalists drawn from 125 different architects from around the world

Multi-award winning practice Allies and Morrison has teamed with RIBA Gold Medal winners O’Donnell & Tuomey and other renowned studios to scoop the international competition for Stratford Waterfront on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the London Legacy Development Corporation announced today (Wednesday 20 May 2015).

Led by Stirling Prize shortlisted practice Allies and Morrison, the team beat off stiff competition from five other finalists to win the competition to design the new culture and university complex which is part of the ‘Olympicopolis’ scheme announced by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, on Stratford Waterfront in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The winning team comprises: Allies and Morrison with, O’Donnell and Tuomey, Josep Camps/Olga Felip Arquitecturia, Gustafson Porter, Gustafson Porter, Buro Happold and Gardiner and Theobald.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said:

‘Stratford Waterfront is set to become a world leading centre of culture and higher education, and I am thrilled that we have been able to appoint some serious talent to work on the designs. Their work will be key to a project that is expected to generate nearly £2bn and bring 3,000 new jobs to the Olympic Park.’

Chair of the Jury, Paul Finch, said:

‘This is a unique project for London. The combination of the architects who played a significant part in master-planning the Olympic Park, and this year’s RIBA Gold Medallists, is a powerful one. The multi-headed nature of the client presents a creative challenge to which this team is more than capable of rising.’

Bob Allies of Allies and Morrison, said:

‘Having been involved in the design of the Olympic Park from the submission of the initial bid to the completion of the Legacy masterplan, we are very excited to have been selected to bring forward this final component of what will be an extraordinary new piece of London, a remarkable collaboration between outstanding institutions.’

Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey, said:

‘We are delighted to be on the winning team for this most important project. Cultural and educational buildings and the public realm have been the critical purpose of our practice for more than 25 years. It feels like all our work has been leading towards this extraordinary commission. And we’re happy to be back again in London where we began our careers in architecture. We greatly look forward to collaborating on the creation of an exciting urban quarter in this new part of town.’

University of the Arts London, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Sadler’s Wells are partners in this exciting new development. Discussions are also underway with the Smithsonian Institution to join the scheme by opening its first permanent museum outside the United States. The 70,000 sq m scheme will also feature a 75,000 sq m residential development.

The culture and university complex will provide an exciting new destination on Stratford Waterfront at the gateway to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It will showcase London at its cultural and academic best, bringing together outstanding organisations with exceptional programmes in the performing arts, fashion, visual arts, craft, science, technology and cutting edge design.

The two-stage competition, which was organised by the London Legacy Development Corporation and competition specialists Malcolm Reading Consultants, was launched in September 2014 with interest registered by over 125 architects, master planners, engineers and landscape designers from around the world.

The second stage of the competition saw six shortlisted teams invited to submit concept designs for the culture and university complex. The winning team was chosen by a jury chaired by Paul Finch from World Architecture Festival. The panel included representatives from each of the institutions to be housed in the scheme, plus external guests.

Notes to Editors

Shortlisted teams

The six teams shortlisted in January for the competition were:

  • AECOM with Stanton Williams, Alison Brooks Architects, AKT II, Asif Khan, Carmody Groarke, Charcoalblue, Haworth Tompkins and Vogt Landscape Architects
  • Allies and Morrison with Buro Happold, O’Donnell and Tuomey, Gardiner and Theobald, Gustafson Porter and Josep Camps/Olga Felip Arquitecturia
  • Baumschlager Eberle with 6a Architects, Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen, Latz+Partner, Buro Happold, Momentum Consulting Engineers, Charcoalblue, Gardiner & Theobald, Polly Staple and Chisenhale Gallery
  • David Chipperfield Architects with Arup, Robbrecht en Daem, Harry Gugger Studio, Vogt Landscape Architects, Publica Associates, Alinea consulting
  • Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios with Atelier Ten, Grant Associates, Expedition, Charcoalblue, Gardiner & Theobald, 5th Studio, Coffey Architects, David Kohn, DRDH Architects, Hoidn Wang Partner and Thomas Matthews
  • Ramboll UK with Rick Mather, RCR, Jun’ya Ishigami, So-il, Max Fordham, Eckersley O’Callaghan, Steer Davies Gleave, Gardiner and Theobald, Savills, Britain Thinks, Eley Kishimoto, Ab Rogers, Charcoalblue, Speirs + Major and Gross.max


In December 2013 year the Mayor unveiled his vision for ‘Olympicopolis’ which takes its inspiration from the achievements of Prince Albert, who used the proceeds of the 1851 Great Exhibition to create ‘Albertopolis’ – the 86 acre site around Exhibition Road in South Kensington that is today considered one of the world’s pre-eminent scientific, educational, artistic and cultural hubs. The Mayor’s aim is that this will be a dynamic new hub for 21st century London, attracting prestigious institutions and businesses to the site to foster collaboration and innovation. As well as creating new visitor attractions, it will seek to attract knowledge based industries to the Stratford site, linking to Tech City, Here East and beyond. It’s projected that the cumulative effect of these plans will generate 3,000 jobs in the Park and an extra £1.8 billion of economic value from the area.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

London’s newest visitor destination, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is a place unlike any other. Visitors to the Park are able to enjoy beautiful parklands and waterways, world-famous sporting venues, arts and events and spectacular views from the ArcelorMittal Orbit. As a new heart for east London, the Park will also provide new homes, jobs and a cultural and education quarter.

The London Legacy Development Corporation promotes and delivers physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area, in particular by maximising the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Allies and Morrison

Allies and Morrison is an architecture and urban planning practice based in London. We operate from our own studios at 85 Southwark Street – the RIBA London Building of the Year 2004.

We have completed projects throughout the UK, and in Ireland, India, Africa and the Middle East, and are currently also working in the Lebanon and in North America.

The work of the practice ranges from architecture, interior design and conservation on the one hand to planning, consultation and research on the other.

36 of our completed projects have won an RIBA Award and we have twice been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize – for the revitalisation of the Royal Festival Hall in 2008 and for New Court Rothschilds Bank in collaboration with OMA in 2012.

The selection panel

  • Paul Finch OBE (Chair) Programme Director, World Architecture Festival
  • Amanda Burden FAICP, Principal at Bloomberg Associates
  • Nigel Carrington Vice-Chancellor, University of the Arts London
  • Neale Coleman Deputy Chair, LLDC
  • David Edmonds Chairman of the Governing Board of Kingston University,Chairman of E20 LLP, Board Member of LLDC
  • Al Horvath Acting Secretary of the Smithsonian
  • Louisa Hutton Royal Academician & Founder of Sauerbruch Hutton
  • Munira Mirza Deputy Mayor for Education & Culture
  • Martin Roth Director of the V&A Museum
  • Alistair Spalding Chief Executive & Artistic Director, Sadler’s Wells
  • Martha Thorne Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and Associate Dean of IE School of Architecture & Design