Siemens opens the Crystal in London

The Crystal - a Sustainable Cities Initiative by Siemens, has today opened in London. The uniquely shaped, glass-clad structure encompasses an area of more than 6,300 square metres. It will serve as a conference centre, urban dialogue platform and technology and innovation centre. The Crystal is designed to achieve top scores on the BREEAM and LEED international assessments for energy-efficient buildings.

The Crystal represents an investment of approximately £30 million by Siemens and is the flagship of Siemens’ Infrastructure and Cities Sector. The structure will be home to Siemens’ global Center of Competence Cities, a team of multi-disciplinary urban experts, who aim to encourage the growth of sustainable cities through partnerships, research and expert collaboration on solutions.  

Inside the Crystal is the world’s largest exhibition on the future of cities covering 2,000 square metres. The interactive exhibition will guide visitors through the urban infrastructure of the future, focusing on possibilities for sustainable mobility, building technologies, power and water supplies, and healthcare.

Designed as an hub for dialogue on sustainable urban living and development, the Crystal is open to the public and city decision makers. It also hosts a conference centre with 270 seat auditorium, office space, electric vehicle recharging points and a cafe.

Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive of Siemens AG, Peter Löscher said: “Cities are the engines of the world economy and also have the greatest impact on the environment. The development of our planet will stand or fall with the development of cities. Looking ahead to the urban future, the Crystal showcases a wide variety of opportunities and concrete solutions.”

The Crystal sits on land in the Royal Docks area formerly owned by the Mayor's regeneration agency which forms part of the Mayor's ambitious regeneration plans in East London. The 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. It continues the rebirth of East London witnessed by the world this summer and I am determined to ensure this regeneration continues apace.'

Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector said:

“Cities worldwide are making investments to improve their water supplies, power grids, transportation systems and building infrastructures. Our addressable market alone has a volume of €300 billion. In this growth market, the Crystal will help us intensify dialogue with our customers. The Crystal is our Sector’s showcase, contact point and mastermind.”

Siemens’ investment in the Crystal highlights the company’s commitment to London and the UK, where Siemens has been established for nearly 170 years.

The Crystal is a flagship project for the regeneration of East London and represents a major contribution by Siemens to the Mayor of London’s vision for London as a powerhouse of the green economy and a catalyst to create jobs and drive growth.

Following the Grand Opening on 19th September, The Crystal will serve as venue for two major international conferences. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN–HABITAT) will hold a conference on 20 September bringing together urban decision makers. On 21 September, Hubert Burda Media’s DLDcities conference will be devoting itself to “Digital-Life-Design in the Urban Arena” and explore visions for urban development and smart cities.

Designed as an ‘all electric’ building, The Crystal uses solar power, ground source heat pumps and energy-efficient LED lighting. No fossil fuels are burnt in the building. Rainwater is harvested for re-use or recycling and the Crystal is ready to be connected to London’s smart grid.

The Crystal is located on the waterfront at the western end of the Royal Victoria Docks in East London. It will open to the public on 29th September.