The Crystal is the futuristic glass construction by the side of the Thames near the Royal Docks, where the Emirates cable cars alight. Inside there’s a permanent exhibition themed around “the future of cities”, with interactive displays about urban planning around the world, and what cities might look like in 2050. It also trebles as an events space and as office space for the owners, who are telecommunications giant Siemens.
Siemens have proclaimed that The Crystal is one of the world’s most sustainable buildings. Each year they’re able to spend zero money on heating, produce 70% less C02 emissions than other similar buildings, and use only recycled water to flush the toilets. Just how do they do it?Simple: the glass walls and roof mean that solar power generates the heat, plus an on-site pump recycles rainwater.