Magazine London, a major new event space for the capital, has opened on the North Greenwich Peninsula. Designed by award-winning architects and cultural sector specialists Nissen Richards Studio, the building is an 8m-high, monolithic, L-shaped black box and a striking new neighbour for the O2’s white canopied structure to its right. As visitors approach from North Greenwich Station, Magazine London forms a dynamic new horizontal plane against the vertical cluster of Canary Wharf towers on the north bank of the Thames.
The purpose-built destination is now the largest of its kind in London, made up of over 3,200 sq m of versatile interior space, catering for up to 3,000 people and able to extend to accommodate a further 7,000 people by using the venue’s outdoor showground. The venue offers an entirely blank inner canvas for culture and commerce, enabling new forms of large-scale creative expression and embodying an unrivalled landscape for brand events, awards dinners, conferences, exhibitions, fashion, the arts and ticketed culture.
The project is a collaboration between innovative space creators Venue Lab, ticketed culture partner Broadwick Live, technical production specialists Vibration Design and Production, catering experts Moving Venue and property developers Knight Dragon. Situated on a brownfield site on the Thames riverbank to the west of the O2, the venue is designed for temporary use (up to 10-12 years), whilst the area undergoes extensive residential, commercial and cultural transformation. Access is also available to The Pylon, a site inspired by the famous Alex Chinneck installation, entitled ‘A Bullet from a Shooting Star’, which resembles an upside-down electricity pylon, as if the structure has been shot out of the sky and into the earth.
Magazine London is located on Ordnance Crescent and facing Ordnance Wharf and takes its name from the gunpowder magazine that used to sit close to the site.
“We sought to reference the site’s industrial heritage through a monolithic, warehouse-style architectural approach”, Nissen Richards Studio Director Jim Richards explained, “using a steel structure and saw-tooth external cladding, which creates further horizontal banding. The building’s steel frame is a unique design, in that instead of using a portal frame, the steelwork sub-contractor suggested a tapered steel column and a triple-pitched roof structure, which gives a rounded feel to the internal ridge line. The internal palette has been designed to be industrial, with very little that’s in any way superficial. Materials include patinated steel; black-painted OSB cladding; pressed and perforated black metal mesh cladding and a stand-out, exposed and polished concrete floor throughout – which also forms the concrete slab for the whole building.”