1 August 2016
When London won the Olympic bid back in 2005, it did so with the promise to not only deliver a once-in-a-lifetime sporting event but to regenerate an entire area of London for future generations to enjoy. At International Quarter London, Lendlease and LCR are working in partnership to deliver on that promise. By Ben O'Rourke, Managing Director, International Quarter London.
Lendlease played a pivotal role in delivering the London 2012 games, constructing the award-winning Athletes’ Village that housed hundreds of international stars throughout their stay. Since then, the development baton has been passed to a new Lendlease team who, with LCR, are currently engaged in delivering the ambitious next stage of post-Olympics regeneration.
With architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners we are working to create London’s most progressive business destination, one characterised by world-leading design that will meet modern business’ needs— now, and into the future. But our dedication to London’s Olympic legacy extends beyond our workplace expertise, aligning to the Five Legacy Commitments set out by the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, in the winning bid.
To make the UK a world-leading sporting nation
We are working to inspire people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to become more active. And with the Olympic sports facilities on our doorstep, we believe Stratford is the perfect place to do so.
As part of a wide-reaching community engagement programme, we work with local schoolchildren to encourage them to participate in sporting activities. We have focused on the Newham Games this year, a series of three festival events bringing together over 800 local primary school children from nine Newham schools. The events culminated in the final games held at the Copper Box Arena where over 450 children participated across 48 teams in nine different sports. Along with our financial sponsorship, 20 volunteers from Lendlease and 40 from our future workplace tenants, the Financial Conduct Authority were involved in the event itself, providing supervision and coaching. A special mention to James Holmes, Construction Manager for International Quarter, whose team from Park Primary School took home the gold.
To transform the heart of East London
Once complete International Quarter will provide four million sq. ft. of grade ‘A’ office accommodation and be home to 25,000 employees. Along with the continuing developments at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the arrival of the new Cultural and Education District, the sheer number of people who will soon be flowing through Stratford will transform this part of London into the most desirable place to work, live and socialise.
Meanwhile, the number of people working on International Quarter increases on a weekly basis and we are committed to ensuring that these job opportunities are open to the people of east London. Since construction began at International Quarter, 30% of people employed on site have been from the local area. Lendlease has also partnered with Newham Council’s job brokerage service, Newham Workplace and Building Crafts College to deliver a 10-week training programme to upskill unemployed Newham residents. The training programme aims to increase the employability of participants by helping develop trade skills and qualifications in construction.
To inspire a generation of young people
In partnership with a number of training and academic institutions we are constantly striving to deliver programs to engage with the next generation in our local area.
Our annual Lendlease Schools Challenge involves over 150 year-10 students from five Newham secondary schools, tasked with developing their own projects with a focus on urban regeneration. Through the challenge students are invited to partake in site tours and workshops with Lendlease employees and the best project team is offered mentoring and work experience. We have also developed a two-year pilot to deliver 800 mock job interviews across ten Newham schools. As it stands over 900 year-10 students have participated with volunteers from local businesses and Lendlease to provide feedback and career guidance.
Responding to the growing skills shortage, we recently launched the Lloyds Bank Construction Skills Centre at our site office. With a focus on the younger generation, the centre will enable Newham Workplace to increase the delivery of bespoke training for residents of Newham and support them to gain construction skills in preparation for their first job on site. The fund will deliver a programme of educational activity to inspire children and young people to become the next generation of construction workers through apprenticeships and higher education and training pathways.
To make the Olympic park a blueprint for sustainable living
Our vision for International Quarter’s modern workplace is to go beyond ‘doing less harm’ and become a positive force for creating long-term social, environmental, and economic value.
We are investing in innovative and high-quality design that will nurture a healthier, happier and more productive working environment. Reducing energy demand and increasing efficiency within our workplaces is a key part of this. Smart metering, use of sustainable materials, water-efficient fixtures and fittings, promotion of recycling, healthy and high-quality indoor environments are just some of the elements that support our sustainability aspirations.
But we believe there’s much more to sustainability than ‘green buildings’. Outside, we promote and enhance biodiversity, improve water usage efficiency for our landscape and are connected to green transport, creating a healthier community for all to enjoy. We also intend to build London’s largest living wall, providing almost 2,000 sq m of habitat, which will be a hive of biodiversity and a home to nesting birds, insects and a multitude of other wildlife.
To demonstrate that the UK is a creative, inclusive and welcoming place to live in, to visit and for business
We have the opportunity to do something very different in London’s commercial office environment at International Quarter. We’re creating a place that seamlessly connects workplaces, public space, sporting facilities and entertainment so that people will stay happy, sociable and productive.
But this space is not just for our future workplace tenants to enjoy. With three acres of parks and a new arrival space for events at the Olympic Park included in our development, we want to create a place that welcomes visitors and passers-by now and for years to come.
Through these five commitments International Quarter is contributing to the social, economic and individual wellbeing of all who visit— creating an Olympic legacy that we as a project team and all of London can feel proud of.