Siemens CityStories for Sustainability at The Crystal with Davis Guggenheim

Davis Guggenheim, the Academy Award-winning film director of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ announces the Siemens CityStories film project. Ten next generation film makers have been selected from around the world to make films about sustainability in their city. This coincides with the launch of The Crystal  – London’s newest landmark building and visitor experience, based in the Royal Victoria Docks, the centre of London’s new Green Enterprise District. Siemens is investing around £30 million in the building–  a natural home for thought leadership on urban sustainability with unique spaces for meeting, entertaining and educating.

Over half the world’s population live in urban areas – from small cities like York, to mega cities like New York – and by 2050 that proportion will rise to 70% of all humanity.  From its vast interactive exhibition to enlightening lectures and thought leadership conferences, the Crystal aims to educate about the technologies and solutions that can help to improve urban life and sustainability.  The Crystal has been designed to be one of the most sustainable buildings in the world.

Designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, the concept for the building draws inspiration from nature with its crystalline geometry. Based on two parallelogram forms with multiple triangular facets, the Crystal’s waterside location provides a striking visual contrast with the surrounding skyline. A palette of reflective materials on the facets catches light to create a dynamic composition on the waterfront. Pringle Brandon, the lead consultant and architect for the interiors, has transformed the building’s geometry into fascinating internal spaces, including an exhibition hall with multifaceted zones, an auditorium, conference facilities, meeting rooms and office space.

The Crystal opens to the public on Saturday, 29th September, 2012. Find out more about the Crystal and the future of cities here.

Siemens The Crystal Opening 2012

Davis Guggenheim was at the Crystal on 20 September to award the FOUR winners of the CityStories for Sustainability competition and to participate in a Q&A. Originally the prize was for only three winners, but Davis said the entries were so good that ‘it was as hard to decide on the winners as choosing between his own children.’

Davis Guggenheim Q&A at Siemens The Crystal for CityStories

Davis Guggenheim Q&A at Siemens The Crystal for CityStories

Davis invested a significant amount of skype and facetime with each of the ten young and talented film makers and likened it to online dating. He was perturbed not to have one of his own films there, and this leads him to want to start his next project, quite likely to be on sustainability. The advice Davis Guggenheim gives to film makers is to focus on truth and tell the human side of the story.

The winners of the competition were Daniel Jameison with his film ‘A City With Two Voices‘, Wiseman MabuselaGrowing Hope‘, Eduardo Hunter Moura ‘This Film is About…’ and Mohit Chhabra for ‘Rubber Band Ball‘.

Davis Guggenheim with the winners of CityStories for Siemens

Siemens CityStories Winners (l to r) Daniel Jameison ‘A City With Two Voices’, Wiseman Mabusela ‘Growing Hope’, Director Davis Guggenheim, presenter Joanna Yarrow, Eduardo Hunter Moura ‘This Film is About…’ & not present Mohit Chhabra for ‘Rubber Band Ball’

Address: 1 Siemens Brothers Way, Royal Victoria Docks, London, E16 1GB

The Crystal is located on the waterfront at the western end of the Royal Victoria Docks in East London. The nearest station is Royal Victoria Station (Zone 3) on the Docklands Light Railway. The Crystal is also within 5 minutes by taxi from London City Airport and at the foot of the Emirates Air Line at Royal Docks, a few minutes by cable car from the O2 Greenwich Peninsula Dome.

Siemens The Cystal seen from the Emirate Airline, London

Siemens The Cystal seen from the Emirates Airline, London

Here’s some shots from the opening night:

Siemens The Crystal Opening Party 20 September 2012

Siemens The Crystal London

Cherry Apple Lollipops

Cherry Apple Lollipops

Siemens The Crystal Launch Party 20 September 2012

Guests included Development Advisor Mark Bradbury

Siemens The Crystal Illuminated

Siemens The Crystal Light Show

Guests were treated to a spectacular 7 minute laser light and sound display projected onto the shell of Siemens The Crystal in London’s Docklands


In celebration of the first anniversary of the opening, the Crystal is hosting the Siemens Festival Nights, an outdoor live opera festival taking place between 30th August and 1st September on the dockside in Newham.

Spectators will be able to watch celebrated opera premieres in excellent sound quality on a 100-meter-square screen. The limited 300 capacity screenings will allow visitors to enjoy world-famous masterpieces by Verdi and Mozart performed by the Festival’s amazing cast in comfort.

The events are as follows:

Fri 30th Aug, Falstaff, 7pm

Sat 31st Aug, La Traviata,* 11am & Don Carlo, 4pm

Sun 1st Sept, Magic Flute for kids, 11am

*Free admission


£5 (This is a non-profit event. You are able to choose to donate your £5 to local charities, or exchange for a £5 food and drink voucher to be used on the day).


For more info and tickets:

If you would like to tweet use the hashtag #SiemensFestivalNights, @thecrystalorg and

The Crystal is to become the headquarters of the Greater London Authority by 31 December 2021, replacing City Hall in Southwark.




  1. Reblogged this on FeedingPeace and commented:
    Since so many of us live in cities, I’m for all the efforts that make them more ecologically sustainable!


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