2012 Olympic Park Gets New Designers to Create Public Spaces

December 21, 2011

Two competitions winners will create public spaces that will welcome millions of visitors to the north and south of the Olympic Park in Stratford at the aftermath of the London 2012 Games, the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) have announced.

Design teams were asked to come up with plans for a visitor centre and playground in the green river valley of the North Park along with a 50 acre urban landscape in the South Plaza sitting between the Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Centre and the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

For the North Park competition, a London based firm called Erect Architecture were chosen for their winning design concept to create a community hub building which will be integrated into the parkland and river valley of the North Park area.

Meanwhile, for the South Plaza competition, James Corner Field Operations, who are based in New York, were chosen for their design concept, which features a tree lined promenade connecting flexible spaces for events, cultural programmes, food stalls and other attractions.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “The fantastic legacy we are building at the Olympic Park is already taking shape. These inspiring public spaces will be at the centre of the new communities that are rising in this brand new quarter of the capital.

“I congratulate these two winners, who now have the chance to put their stamp very firmly on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for generations to come.”

The winning design for the North Park includes a playground themed on its surroundings with the chance to climb trees, build dens and have everyday adventures in nature, while previous buildings and play spaces designed by erect architecture have won several awards, such as the Kilburn Grange Play Park in London.

The winning design for the South Plaza will have a South Bank feel and will welcome the majority of visitors to the Park with James Corner Field Operations renowned for its contemporary design across a variety of projects including the award winning and widely acclaimed High Line in New York City.

Minister for Olympic Legacy Bob Neill, said: “London 2012 will leave a legacy of innovative design and boundary-pushing architecture. Whilst the Games may be about athletes, its legacy will be about the communities involved.

“The fact that we are valuing original and creative design for community facilities proves just what a successful legacy London 2012 will leave.”

The winners were chosen from over 100 entries from across Europe, Asia and North America before being shortlisted to five teams per competition and judged by an expert panel.

They will now work with the OPLC to develop more detailed plans for each area.

Related discussion: why didn’t they build the Olympic stadium in one go?