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Siemens today announced a brand new name for its landmark centre for urban sustainability at a high level ‘topping out’ ceremony in East London.
The £30 million visitor attraction and global knowledge hub – the Crystal (www.thecrystal.org) – will open to the public next summer and show how the latest infrastructure technology can make the world’s cities better places to live and work.
Designed and under construction in two dramatic, crystal-shaped sections, the Crystal will be an eye-catching new landmark for London’s Royal Victoria Docks, at the epicentre of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson's regeneration plans for the east of the capital. Sited in London's only Enterprise Zone in Newham which offers inward investment incentives to this area, the Crystal is also part of the Mayor's Green Enterprise District.
The flagship building is designed to meet some of the world’s most stringent environmental standards for construction and, as well as being an exhibit in itself, the building will host an exciting new visitor attraction. The centrepiece of the Crystal will be a free interactive exhibition exploring best practice in urban planning and design, sustainable urban technology and infrastructure, from energy and transport to water and security and it will give us a glimpse in the future of cities. It will also host state-of-the-art conference and education facilities as well as a restaurant, café and shop.
The Crystal is designed to become a world-class knowledge centre for thought leadership on urban sustainability. It will contain office space for over 100 desks for infrastructure experts, research partners, planners and academics from around the world. The Crystal will promote independent dialogue and collaboration as key components of urban innovation and the creation of successful, sustainable cities. The Crystal aims to draw international experts to London, and has an educational remit to help inspire a new generation of engineers.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London says: “In the same way the wharves and warehouses of East London led the capital's global dominance of the industrial age, so I want this area to be economically vibrant in the 21st century. As part of this vision, we are working to attract the best new high tech industries and environmental businesses to the capital bringing investment and jobs to Londoners. Siemens' Crystal is a perfect platform to help kick-start this regeneration demonstrating the type of dynamic partnership I want London to forge with global innovators in order to create the best big city in the world."
Roland Busch, CEO, Infrastructure & Cities Sector, Siemens AG says: "Siemens has bundled its expertise and solutions portfolio for cities in the new Sector to enable us to concentrate more exclusively on this growth market. In dialogue with the responsible authorities, we aim to develop solutions to cope with the massive growth of cities and make them livable centres of business and culture. The Crystal will play a vital role in these endeavours. I look forward to the opening of the centre in summer 2012 and to being able to really push ahead with implementing our plans."
Andreas J. Goss, Chief Executive Siemens plc says: “The Crystal will be an iconic new centre of expertise when it opens to the public next year. Through this initiative Siemens continues to invest in the UK and to be a pioneer in the most innovative and sustainable technologies, inspiring a new generation of engineers and scientists.”
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham says: “I am delighted a huge blue chip organisation such as Siemens is bringing this ground-breaking project to the Royal Docks. This commitment will be a catalyst for more job creating investment. The Crystal will inspire young people into careers within the high technological industries of tomorrow.”
The topping out ceremony – marking the completion of the first major stage of the unique building’s construction – was attended by the Mayor of London and the Mayor of Newham who inspected the innovative sustainable infrastructure being installed at the site.
Notes to editors:
About Siemens in the UK
Siemens was established in the United Kingdom 168 years ago and now employs around 16,000 people in the UK. Last year’s revenues were £4.1 billion. As a leading global engineering and technology services company, Siemens provides innovative solutions to help tackle the world’s major challenges, across the key sectors of energy, industry and healthcare. Siemens has offices and factories throughout the UK, with its headquarters in Frimley, Surrey. The company’s global headquarters is in Munich, Germany. For more information, visit www.siemens.co.uk
About the Crystal (www.thecrystal.org)
The Crystal is a sustainable cities initiative by Siemens which explores how we can create a better future for our cities. It will host the world’s largest and most comprehensive exhibition centred on urban sustainability, bringing together city decision makers and the public.
The Crystal will be within easy walking distance of ExCeL and easy to reach by public transport, including the DLR and the new cable car currently under construction.
The Crystal has been designed by architects Wilkinson Eyre and Pringle Brandon and structural services designer Arup. The building contractor is ISG. Turner & Townsend is supplying project and cost managers. Event Communications is designing the exhibition.
Construction is already well under way at the site and two webcams show the extraordinary pace of progress at the site. Further information and time lapse photography of construction work can be seen at: www.thecrystal.org
About how the Crystal will work:
Pioneering sustainable technologies showcased in the building include:
For more information, photography, interviews and other media requests please visit www.thecrystal.org or contact:
Tel: +44 (0)1276 696312
Mob: +44 (0)7808 823545
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