Siemens, The Crystal
Royal Victoria Docks, London, UK
Square Footage: 75,000
Design and Innovation, Highly Commended
Sustainability, Shortlisted, 2013
Perkins+Will led the team that won the competition to design a landmark sustainability centre in London's Docklands for Siemens. The Crystal is the global centre of excellence for Siemens’ new Infrastructure and Cities Sector. It acts as an exhibition, conference centre, and education facility. The building is also a base for approximately 160 Siemens employees. The architectural concept for the building shell, designed by Wilkinson Eyre, is based on two interlocking parallelogram forms with multiple triangular facets. Its crystalline geometry, which draws inspiration from nature, responds to its special location and contrasts with the curve of the O2 Centre beyond.
The uniquely shaped, glass-clad structure encompasses more than 70,000sqft on the waterfront at the western end of the Royal Victoria Docks in East London. It serves as a conference centre, urban dialogue platform, and technology and innovation centre. The Crystal is designed to achieve top scores on the BREEAM and LEED international assessments for energy-efficient buildings.
Designed as an ‘all electric' building, the Crystal uses solar power, ground source heat pumps, and energy-efficient LED lighting. No fossil fuels are burnt in the building. Rainwater is harvested for re-use or recycling and the Crystal is ready to be connected to London's smart grid.
The interior, designed by Perkins+Will, is focused on the world's largest exhibition on the future of cities covering 22,000sqft. The interactive exhibition guides visitors through the urban infrastructure of the future, focusing on possibilities for sustainable mobility, building technologies, power and water supplies, and healthcare. Designed as a hub for dialogue on sustainable urban living and development, the Crystal is open to the public and city decision makers. It also hosts a conference centre with 270 seat auditorium, office space, electric vehicle recharging points, and a cafe.