Olympia London owners Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance today announced that Heatherwick Studio, in collaboration with SPPARC Architects, will be leading the architectural enhancement of Olympia London.
The project will see the 130-year-old exhibition centre based on a 14-and-a-half-acre site in Kensington, London, transformed into a world-leading arts, entertainment, exhibition and experiential district whilst staying true to its original heritage as an exhibition business. Heatherwick Studio has been tasked with improving the current customer offer with enhanced communal areas and retail units whilst retaining its iconic features. The potential for the estate includes a new hotel, theatre and entertainment venues, as well as museums, co-working spaces and innovative new restaurants.
Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio said: "My studio's passion is improving the public experience of cities for everyone. During this first phase we are beginning to talk to people, particularly local residents and visitors, to learn more about Olympia London and are looking forward to working on the project."
John Hitchcox, Chairman of Yoo Capital, said: “When we took over as caretaker of Olympia London, we vowed to celebrate its iconic heritage. By working with world respected design firm Heatherwick Studio, we are staying true to this promise and ensuring that Olympia London is elevated on the world stage as a must-visit exhibition, events and leisure destination.”
The exhibition centre was first built in 1886 as the National Agricultural Hall. Today it is home to more than 220 exhibitions and events each year including the Olympia Horse Show and Stylist Live.
Lloyd Lee, Managing Partner of Yoo Capital added: “We are honoured to be long-term owners and caretakers of this magnificent estate. Our Victorian forefathers first conceived Olympia London to be a destination for all people to see, learn and experience major exhibitions, events in culture, music, technology, arts and sports. We are listening to local stakeholders Hammersmith and Fulham Council, the Greater London Authority, exhibition organisers and the local community to ensure Olympia London achieves its original vision.”
The evolution will significantly enrich the current offering at Olympia London, whilst retaining key events throughout the enhancement.
Gavin Neilan, Co-Managing Partner of Deutsche Finance International said: “We are delighted to represent a consortium of long term investors, including leading German institutions, and work with our partner Yoo Capital and Olympia’s management team, to invest in and enhance the Olympia London experience for visitors and the wider community.”
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Notes to Editors
Yoo creates extraordinary and inspiring living spaces, which are unrivalled in the property industry. A global real estate conglomerate operating in 34 countries, yoo's portfolio includes more than 80 real estate projects worldwide. At the core of the yoo brand is its lifestyle design ethos: Working with the world's leading developers and partnering with celebrated design icons (including Philippe Starck, Marcel Wanders, Jade Jagger, Kelly Hoppen, Steve Leung, Sussanne Khan), yoo and its design studio are leaders in interior design, architecture, development, marketing and branding.
Yoo also operates Yoo Hotels and Resorts and Yoo Energy, a renewable energy business.
Yoo Capital is a private partnership with over $1.0 billion of AUM and 1.7 million square feet across Greater London in hospitality, leisure, retail, commercial, residential and real estate operating companies. The firm specializes in high value creation, turnarounds and special situations in urban regeneration, corporate opportunities, restructuring and world-class place making. Its senior partners have served as principal investors at leading real estate companies and private equity firms for over 25 years. The firm recently signed major capital commitments with Deutsche Finance, a global German institutional investor, and is actively focused on identifying and investing into real estate special situations. Historically, the firm has co-invested and successfully realized returns in over $1.0 billion of real estate investments with major public companies, global institutions and large multi-family offices, adhering to the highest institutional standard of investment discipline, financial accountability, ethical conduct and reporting transparency.
Olympia London is more than an exhibition venue, conference centre and live-event space. It’s an inspiration. Against a backdrop of grand Victorian architecture, the seven connected spaces inspire engagement and enjoyment.
The recent £45 million refurbishment provides world class facilities for visitors and new-found flexibility for events of every size, bringing modern facilities and British heritage together.
Deutsche Finance International LLP or DFI, is a London-based boutique private equity real estate firm focused on differentiated value-add and opportunistic investments into real estate and real estate anchored businesses, primarily in Europe. DFI acts as the investment advisor for DFI funds, related co-investments and the direct real estate investment activity of the Deutsche Finance Group. The platform serves a global institutional client base including pension funds, insurance companies, financial institutions and family offices.
Deutsche Finance Group is a leading global investment management with over €1 billion of assets under management, which specializes in private market investments in real estate and infrastructure. DFG is regulated by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority of Germany, BaFinand headquartered in Munich with offices in London, Zurich and Paris.
About Heatherwick Studio
Heatherwick Studio is a team of 180 problem solvers dedicated to making the physical world around us better for everyone. Based out of our combined workshop and design studio in Central London, we create buildings, spaces, master-plans, objects and infrastructure. Focusing on large scale projects in cities all over the world, we prioritise those with the greatest positive social impact.
Working as practical inventors with no signature style, our motivation is to design soulful and interesting places which embrace and celebrate the complexities of the real world. The approach driving everything is to lead from human experience rather than any fixed design dogma. The studio’s completed projects include a number of internationally celebrated buildings, including the award-winning Learning Hub at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and the UK Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.
The studio is currently working on approximately 25 live projects on four continents. Current projects include a landmark for Hudson Yards in Manhattan, major new headquarters for Google in both Silicon Valley and London (in collaboration with BIG), and Coal Drops Yard, a 100,000 sq ft retail quarter in London that makes use of two historic coal drops buildings.