Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, led the breaking ground ceremony today for East Bank, the cultural and education district at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London.

Representatives of the cultural partners, local authorities, collaborators, the London Legacy Development Corporation, and numerous community organisations were on hand to mark the start of construction for what is now London’s largest single cultural and educational investment in a generation. East Bank will bring together new venues for BBC Music, Sadler’s Wells, the Victoria & Albert Museum with the Smithsonian Institution and UAL’s London College of Fashion on the Stratford Waterfront site along the River Lea, as well as a cluster of new facilities for University College London (UCL) on a site next to London Stadium.

In remarks at the event, the Mayor said that this project is about more than beautiful new buildings, but that it is fundamentally about people, which has been best reflected in the diversity of those who have all contributed to getting East Bank to this important milestone.

‘Breaking ground is that thrilling tipping-point on a project between conceptual design and physical reality. At East Bank, it marks the culmination of a design evolution that has involved thousands of people and which will involve thousands more’, says Alex Wraight, partner at Allies and Morrison. ‘The buildings are unified by an approach to architecture and materiality that reflects both the making heritage of east London and the process by which they will be made. We are hugely excited to now be working with the construction team to craft these buildings and create a robust, tactile and long-lasting setting for the work of the partner institutions for generations to come’.

A team led by Allies and Morrison and comprising O’Donnell + Tuomey and Camps Felip Arquitecturia are the masterplanners of Stratford Waterfront. Allies and Morrison is also architect of the London College of Fashion and BBC Music buildings; O’Donnell + Tuomey, architects of V&A East and Sadler’s Wells; and Camps Felip Arquitecturia, the Carpenters Land Bridge. The team also includes landscape architects LDA Design, engineers Buro Happold and cost consultants Gardiner & Theobald.

Learn more about the project here.