The Making of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
John C. Hopkins, Peter Neal
This is the story of The Making of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park by the Olympic Delivery Authority. Situated in east London adjacent to Victoria Park, one of the world’s earliest public parks built in the 19th century, the Park provides an innovative blueprint for contemporary urban park design and is recognised as an exemplar sustainable development for the 21st century. As a primary legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Park was conceived as a new piece of sustainable city, transforming a largely neglected, contaminated, post-industrial district, into a new community for up to 20,000 residents, shifting the centre of gravity of London eastwards.
Written by those at the heart of the project, it draws significantly on contributions from the many experts who have shaped and guided the creation of the Park, including interviews with the key players responsible for delivering the project. It provides the only authoritative account of the planning, design and construction of the Park beginning with the bid to host the games, setting out its historical, philosophical and physical context; describing the strategic fit within the Thames Gateway, Lower Lea Valley and Stratford City; explaining how One Planet Living principles developed by WWF and BioRegional underpinned sustainability throughout the project; and concludes with a ‘Walk in Park’ capturing its essence for both Games and Legacy.
Richly illustrated, it is a unique reference for those involved in the planning, design, delivery and management of sustainable urban parks and new communities on post-industrial and other land, and those seeking to host future Games and other large-scale international events.
The Mayor Boris Johnson today announced new measures to accelerate the economic, social and cultural potential of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford and East London.
As the second anniversary of London’s Games approaches, plans for a world class education and cultural quarter on the Park are to be brought to life through an international design competition to find a team to design ‘Olympicopolis’. This new quarter on Stratford waterfront at the gateway to the site will bring together outstanding organisations to showcase exceptional art, dance, history, craft, science, technology and cutting edge design. Internationally renowned institutions, The Victoria and Albert Museum and Sadler’s Wells are planning to occupy the new development with University College London planning a move to a neighbouring site south of Anish Kapoor’s Orbit sculpture.
The Mayor is looking to find an exceptional team of architects, master planners, place makers, engineers and landscape designers to help create this ambitious project. Paul Finch, Programme Director of World Architecture Festival and former chair of both the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and the Design Council, will be the competition jury chairman along with a team of experts.
The Mayor’s vision for ‘Olympicopolis’ takes its inspiration from the achievements of Prince Albert, who used the proceeds of the 1851 Great Exhibition to create ‘Albertopolis’ – the 86 acre site around Exhibition Road in South Kensington that is today considered one of the world’s pre-eminent scientific, educational, artistic and cultural hubs.
Alongside the competition, the Mayor has also announced that to maximise the unique potential of the Olympicopolis initiative and wider strategic plans for regeneration and growth at Stratford, he has asked Transport for London to ‘re-zone’ the three Stratford stations (Stratford, Stratford International and Stratford High Street) from zone 3 to zone 2/3 effective from January 2016, at a net cost to TfL of about £7m annually. The move will benefit commuters and visitors travelling to the stations at a lower cost, boosting the commercial attractiveness of the area for which the Mayor is responsible through the London Legacy Development Corporation, for workers, businesses and residents.
The 2012 Olympic Park in Stratford, London is a sustainable and contemporary urban park of international significance. This short film consists of interviews with some of the key players of the design and build of the Park, capturing the role landscape architecture had to play in it’s delivery.
This film was commissioned by the Landscape Institute; an Olympic Learning Legacy Partner. To find out more visit http://www.landscapeinstitute.org/oly…
Produced by Room60. http://www.room60.net
Pictures courtesy of:
ODA / LLDC / Neil Mattinson / LDA Design / Nigel Dunnett / James Hitchmough / University of Sheffield/ Sarah Price / Sarah Price Landscapes / Tim O’Hare / Tim O’Hare Associates / Tom Armour / Arup / John Hopkins / Peter Neal / Phil Askew / Alex Massey / LUC & under Creative Commons Licence from flickr users Department for Culture, Media and Sport / Daniel Coomber / Duncan Rawlinson / Pond Spider / Smoke Ghost
The waterways of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are planned to open on 10th May 2014, for the first time since the rivers were restored.
The six kilometres of rivers in the Park were once a key transport network for the industries that lined the river. After the Second World War use dropped, silt built up and the rivers were eventually closed.
However, as part of preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Olympic Delivery Authority and Canal & River Trust worked together to improve the condition of the Park’s rivers with a view to them once again becoming navigable. New river walls and towpaths were created, deeper channels dredged, wildlife habitats improved and disused locks refurbished. The rivers were then handed over to the London Legacy Development Corporation in 2012.