Crystal shines brightly on Royal Docks

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The Crystal, flagship of the Green Enterprise District of east London, opened its doors yesterday welcoming guests from around the world to the "global knowledge hub".

The distinctive building at one of end of the Royal Docks and serviced, in part, by the cable car, represents an investment of £30million by Siemens.

The 6,300 sqm energy efficient building has three roles - as an exhibition centre hosting technology and innovations for sustainable cities of the future; as a conference centre for city-themed gatherings; and as a showroom for Siemens Infrastructure and Cities Sector, where world-leading experts will host clients.

Speaking at the launch, chief executive of Siemens AG, Peter Löscher said: "TThe 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 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' £30million 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."

The conference centre is already booked until December.

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) will hold a conference on September 20 bringing together urban decision makers.

On September 21, 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.

More reports and pictures in The Wharf on Thursday.

Pictured: Local government secretary Eric Pickles, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Siemens chief executive Peter Löscher officially open the Crystal, below

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