Designed by Siemens as a forum for discourse and debate about urban sustainability, the Crystal is an iconic building at the water’s edge in London’s Royal Docks. It features a 2,000 sqm exhibition, including two immersive film theatres, 50 touchscreen activities and a range of interactive experiences designed to engage young and old in a dialogue about the future of cities. Visitors can act as the Mayor of a city, working with virtual experts to make the types of decisions that shape people’s lives.
The rest of the 6,000 sqm building acts as a conference centre and technology and innovation centre – a forum for bringing together companies, academics and professionals working at the leading edge of urban planning, sustainability and development. This includes a 270-seat auditorium that has already hosted a number of international conferences.
The Crystal is a landmark new attractor for the ongoing development and regeneration of the Royal Docks as a vibrant, mixed use waterfront environment. Adjacent to the northern landing of the Emirates Air Line, the Crystal has helped to activate the waterfront, provide a defining image of the destination and advance the Mayor’s objective of turning the redundant docklands into the heart of London’s fast growing green technology business.
Dan Anderson and Jim Roberts provided the original business plan for the project, helping to define the concept and facilitating the deal with the London Development Agency. Subsequent interventions – notably on its appropriate sizing relative to its likely throughput – helped to overcome key obstacles during the planning and approvals stage. As the project advanced, we also advised the appointed facilities manager on aspects of the corporate hire and conferencing offer.
The Crystal is a prime example of best practice in brand showcasing – one where consumers and B2B customers are emotionally and intellectually engaged in a subtle but lasting way. Far from a blunt marketing suite for Siemens products, the Crystal is a vehicle for communicating Siemens’ brand values through a compelling visitor experience.