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Kohn's Hackney Wick arts centre to open in May

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Kohn Architects’ competition-winning White Building arts centre next to the Olympic Park in London will open this spring (2012)

The Olympic Park Legacy Company-backed project will feature affordable studio space for artists, a canal side café a flexible community and event area.

The 650m² project to transform the area’s derelict Queens Yard building is part of the Olympic Fringe Programme which aims to improve community areas around the east London park.

David Kohn of Kohn Architects said: ‘The White Building will be a robust background for a host of exciting activities and events that will foreground the creative work that is made in Hackney Wick. Tall ceilinged and light spaces that open onto the canalside and give views of the Olympic site will contribute to the pleasure of being in this unique location.’

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: ‘The White Building will be another feather in the cap of the fantastic cultural quarter we are creating in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

‘Not only will this be a wonderful resource for communities and local artists, it will help drive new skills and jobs in the area. The imaginative use of a derelict print works to create something useful and inspiring for local people is exactly the kind of legacy we are hoping to build from the 2012 Games.’

The facilities will be run by arts education charity SPACE and the project is expected to generate around 60 jobs per year. Art and architecture practice Public Works will be one of the building’s first tenants.

One of the White Building’s first projects is called Permacultures. The programme is an artist’s residency programme for local and international artists. The building will also house a café, which will be run by the team behind The Counter Café on nearby Fish Island.

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