The Crystal opens as new ‘global hub’ in the heart of Newham

The world’s largest urban sustainability exhibition opened in Custom House today, inviting Londoners to step into the future of city living.

Situated next to the Emirates Air Line and a street away from the Royal Victoria DLR station, The Crystal is an imposing glass structure comprising 6,300 sqm of Docklands space and costing 35 million euros to build (around �28.3 million).

Construction began in January 2011 to create a ‘global technology hub’ where world leaders and companies could share ideas on how to solve urban problems, such as congestion and waste, in a sustainable way while maintaining a city’s growth and status as an economic powerhouse.

Part high concept interactive exhibition space and part conferencing suite, Peter Loscher, president and CEO of Siemens who run the space, announced at The Crystal’s opening today that the rooms are already fully booked until December.

Sitting in the Royal Docks, formerly owned by the Mayor of London’s regeneration agency, the centre was described by Mr Loscher as “a flagship project for the regeneration of east London”, explaining that the name and the appearance of the building promoted his vision of a centre of emerging technology and precious innovation.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “The futuristic Crystal is a fantastic new landmark for London which has breathed new life into the historic Royal Docks.

“Siemens’ �30 million investment is a great boost to our ambitious plans to redevelop swathes of former industrial land in order to bring jobs to the capital.

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“It continues the rebirth of east London witnessed by the world this summer and I am determined to ensure this regeneration continues apace.”

Around 50 jobs have been created in management and operations for the venue but it is clear that organisers believe that keeping the eyes of the world on east London will ensure continuous interest - and investment - in the area post-Olympic Games.

Newham residents and visitors to the Royal Docks can visit the exhibition at The Crystal for free when it opens to the public next Saturday for the Newham London Waterfront Festival.

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