‘Olympicopolis’ planned by London College of Fashion to rival Saint Martins

Vision of what London College of Fashion's 'Olympicopolis' campus could look like

Vision of what London College of Fashion's 'Olympicopolis' campus could look like - Credit: Lond College of Fashion

University bosses could be getting Olympic legacy funding next month ready to merge all the London College of Fashion campuses into a new site at the proposed ‘Olympicopolis’ creative hub to rival the prestigious Central Saint Martins.

The campus planned at the Olympic Park would be the flagship for the University of the Arts London.

It would bring together campuses spread across London including two in Shoreditch at Curtain Road and Golden Lane and another in Hackney’s Mare Street.

“The college would have a single site for the first time in its 100 year history,” explained the university’s Vice Chancellor Nigel Carrington, one of the judges selecting the architectural design.

“This move is part of a five-year plan to make our buildings worthy of a world-class university.

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“It would be a flagship for UAL and a creative hub for London, just as Central Saint Martins has proved at Kings Cross.”

The London Legacy Development Corporation expects to confirm funding next month.

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UAL would then draw up the Olympicopolis brief and appoint the design team in the New Year. Planning permission would be sought in 2017 and the new site could be ready by 2020.

Other establishments which have been confirmed for the ‘creative hub’ on the River Lea waterfront include the V&A Museum, Sadler’s Wells and University College London.

The origins of the fashion college began with Edwardian trade schools like the Shoreditch Technical Institute set up in 1906 by the London County Council to train skilled labour for dressmaking, millinery, embroidery, women’s tailoring and hairdressing. Men’s tailoring was added later. Graduates found work mainly in the East End’s garment factories, but also in the West End fashion houses.

One of the campuses it absorbed in 2000 was Cordwainers College for leather-working, shoemaking and saddlery, founded in Bethnal Green in 1887 as the Leather Trade School.

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