The continuing development of Stratford London

The area known today as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was earmarked for regeneration during preparation for London 2012’s Olympic Games in 2008. Just over a decade later, the development of Stratford London is continuing to create one of London’s largest commercial and residential centres.

IQL grew out of London 2012 after its developers, Lendlease, had been the Olympic Village contractor, and the regeneration of the area surrounding it has continued to attract big names. The BBC, the V&A, Sadler’s Wells and the London College of Fashion will be located adjacent to the Park, at what has been named ‘East Bank’, and will create Stratford’s very own culture and education district.

While all this has been going on, IQL has become the home to the Financial Conduct Authority, Transport for London and Unicef UK with the British Council and Cancer Research UK also set to move to the area.

Our next big news is the arrival of The Pavilion*, currently under construction here at IQL. The timber-framed building will contain the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park visitor centre, two restaurants and a rooftop terrace. It will act as the hub of our community, and offer a link to bring residents, workers and retailers together.

If you’re a frequent visitor to IQL, you might find it hard to believe that a building is being constructed in the middle of its main thoroughfare. There’s a distinct lack of noise and disturbance and you wander through the pathways and buildings. But why?

One of the reasons is - of course - our fantastic hoarding. Its beautifully clever design truly catches the eye and anything behind it fades into insignificance. But there’s another reason for such a peaceful construction site.

It’s so quiet that project director Andrew Tobin describes the construction site as being “…like someone building Lego behind you”. And that’s because the Pavilion* is primarily being constructed with prefabricated timber.

The decision to primarily use timber to construct The Pavilion* was taken due to its location in the bigger picture of the development of Stratford London. It’s right on top of the DLR tunnel, so building restraints had to be considered. And timber, a lighter material with smaller footings and foundations, was the perfect fit.

Timber offers several advantages. All the cross laminated timber used has been commissioned specifically for this project. The fact that it’s prefabricated means it will take less time to build, as the pieces come ready packed in the order which they will be slotted into place.

Lendlease is also using timber construction elsewhere - it’s a subject close to its heart. The company is on a global push to use more sustainable materials and is already constructing the largest and tallest timber office buildings in Australia. Lendlease is also planning to use more sustainable timber construction in London, so watch this space!

The Pavilion* is expected to open in Autumn 2020.

*Working title. Final name to be decided.