Monday night saw East Village under the spotlight as the ‘East Village – a Lasting Legacy for Londoners’ exhibition got underway at the NLA on Store Street, central London. With the promise of champagne, canapes and some never-seen-before insights into our project, the members of the London Living team headed down to check it out.
Visitors flocked in their hundreds to the show, which documents the development of London’s newest neighbourhood, E20.
Anticipation for the show was evident before we’d even arrived on Twitter, with Design Exchange magazine leading the way:
‘Looking forward to the opening of the new @EastVillageLDN exhibition this evening!’
Curated by Peter Murray, the NLA’s chairman, the exhibition aims to provide Londoners with a tangible taste of what life will be like at East Village – and there’s plenty on offer to allow visitors a genuine insight into the project and what it will be like to actually live in the new development.
The atmosphere was buzzing and the champagne flowing as we sipped our bubbly and sampled a few of the delicious bites on offer, before heading for a wander around the show.
Perhaps the most engaging part of the exhibition is the huge model plan of East Village London, where you can gaze down on this full scale 3D miniature map complete with trees, landmarks, streets and stations, and get a real sense of scale and perspective.
It’s right next to the massive model of London and you can get a feel for just how vast London is.
It’s amazing to see how much space surrounds East Village. and equally so to see its close proximity to the city; Canary Wharf, King’s Cross, and central London are all on the doorstep of E20. Transport links are second to none, so these key London hotspots are minutes, not miles, away and the map demonstrates this clearly.
It was great to be able to speak to the architects of East Village, including Jonathan Kendall, of Fletcher Priest Architects. Chatting to those so instrumental in the project in its growth, and who developed the very first designs, was fantastic. The level of energy and enthusiasm they have for East Village is wonderful to see and getting a close-up of their preliminary East Village design sketches was a fascinating insight into the project.
As you wander through the exhibition, there are intricate and painstakingly detailed models of Chobham Academy (East Village’s very own school), and models of the residential buildings themselves.
There is an interactive touch screen on display, where viewers can experience the sights and sounds of the Village as they take a virtual tour through the site.
There are also several bird boxes hanging from the ceilings: an affectionate reminder of East Village’s first ever resident: a rare Black Redstart was found nesting on site last year.
Having taken all of this in, it was time to hear a few words from MP Eric Pickles, National Secretary of Communities, and he only had good things to say:
‘This is the first step for creating a vibrant East Village and I look forward to seeing the successful designs on display here turn into real homes and create places where people want to live.’
Alexandra Notay was similarly upbeat, quoting Mr Pickles on twitter during the evening:
The exhibition allows the viewer unique privilege of immersing themselves in East Village both virtually and visually.
Do make sure you get down to the show – it’s free and is on at the NLA until the 31st March. Let us know how you get on!