Shortlist for London Olympic Park Legacy Design Competitions announced

More than 100 teams from across Europe, Asia and North America submitted expressions of interest to create two new distinctive areas that will bring together a vibrant mix of
cultural events, beautiful spaces and recreational uses for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The centrepiece will be a major public space that will welcome crowds to the south park. Sitting between the Aquatics Centre, the Stadium, the ArcelorMittal Orbit and the 2012
Gardens, this urban landscape will have a South Bank feel with plans for a visitor centre, water features, imaginative play facilities and host a range of diverse festivals and

The second area will be set within the stunning green river valley in the north park and has potential to include one of London’s most inspiring playgrounds and a visitor centre with a
café and seating terrace, along with indoor multi-purpose space for community-use.

For the shortlist for both parks…..

Continue reading Shortlist for London Olympic Park Legacy Design Competitions announced

Urban Physic Garden pops-up for the community

Urban Physic Garden London

This summer the designers of the Union Street Urban Orchard will return to 100 Union Street, Southwark in London to transform a derelict site into the Urban Physic Garden, a pop-up community built garden celebrating medicinal plants, which will host an on-site cafe and summer festival of events. The Urban Physic Garden will be shaped by the hospital and the pharmacy, with a focus on medicinal plants and herbs. From wild seeds in vacant lots to domestic herbs found in back gardens to exotic species gathered around the world, plants have been used to cure all kinds of ills -from traditional remedies in teas and tonics to the latest cutting-edge pharmaceutical treatments.

The Urban Physic Garden was designed and produced by Wayward Plants, a collective of designers, artists and urban growers under the creative direction of landscape architect Heather Ring. The garden will be host to a range of invited artists projects, including the return of Oliver Bishop-Young’s ping-pong skip and a UK premier of the play-structures designed by the Serbian collective Skart, previously shown at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Urban Physic Garden London

From 11 June until 15 August the Urban Physic Garden will open to the public. The opening weekend on 11/12 June will saw a free programme of events, talks and workshops exploring medicinal plants and the health and well being of urban environments. IMAGES Courtesy of Urban Physic Garden

Continue reading Urban Physic Garden pops-up for the community

Work commences on carbon-zero community park and school: Grontmij

Crouch Hill - Gronmij

Grontmij announced that work has commenced on the Crouch Hill Park and Ashmount Primary School development, in the London Borough of Islington.

The Crouch Hill development is a highly sensitive scheme and comprises Metropolitan Open Land, a Site of Metropolitan Significance for Nature Conservation and a local park. The site is adjacent to the Parkland Walk, a disused railway and a popular North London walking route between Finsbury Park and Highgate.

A new central green space will give the public access to out-of-hours community activities in the school including, a shared games court. New paths will link local housing and the Parkland Walk to attract visitors and improve safety. The whole site will become more permeable and accessible, with easy-access routes for wheelchairs, young children and parents with pushchairs. Paths through existing trees are designed as raised boardwalks, to ‘tread lightly’ through the site and a sensitive lighting strategy will improve community safety in key areas, while respecting bat foraging corridors.

Continue reading Work commences on carbon-zero community park and school: Grontmij

Land News 15 Nov 2010

Can We Ditch Our Cars and Embrace High-Speed Rail? – []
LAist blog looks at the work of Roger Sherman co-director cityLAB in relation to High Speed Rail (HSR) and the planned billions to be spent across on HSR across USA.

Downsizing the American Dream: The shrinking house [USAToday]
A look at how the size of the median USA home has dropped in 200 square feet since 2007

Look to Vancouver, town planners told [ABC Online]
Comments from John Norquist from the Congress for the New Urbanism at the City of the Future: Australian & US Perspectives conference currently being  held in Brisbane.

London’s Cultural Strategy: We must continue to invest in creativity [Mayor of London]
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London) at the launch of his Cultural Strategy which will be published after public comment.

Public gets a say on Peavey Plaza – [Star Tribune]
Landscape architect candidates seeking to be lead designer for the renovation of Peavey Plaza ( will be interviewed on Tuesday. The renovation is expected to cost $5-6million USD. Originally constructed in 1975 and designed by M. Paul Friedberg has numerous maintenance issues over the years. The renovation of the plaza as Minnesota Orchestra prepares for $45 million hall renovation and expansion in 2012.

Designs for Santa Monica Parks Discussed at Joint Meeting – [The LookOut News]
Landscape architect James Corner and members of his New York-based design team unveiled the latest version of their plan for a pair of adjacent parks to members of Santa Monica’s community on Saturday.
[We will try and get images and post them on World Landscape Architect]

National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in Uganda gives away part of city wetland – [New Vision]
NEMA has given National Housing and Corporation housing estate part of Bugolobi wetland situated between Kampala city and Lake Victoria . The Bugolobi wetland cleanses water that runs into Lake Victoria, one of Africa’s Great Lakes.

Henn Architekten to design Wenzhou’s CBD – [Bustler]
Henn Architekten was last week awarded 1st prize in an international design competition to design an area of Wenzhou CBD.Wenzhou, a city of 1.4 million people (urban population) situated on the East Coast of China. The 5 towers of  400,000m2 mixed use space was designed based upon the Wenzhou river delta where the Oujiang river flows into the East China Sea.

LAP students create vision for future of downtown Muncie []

Ball State’s College of Architecture and Planning, 40 fifth-year students, led by landscape architecture professors German Cruz, Malcolm Cairns and Simon Bussiere, participated in the renovation design of Main Street between Madison and Walnut streets.
[We will try and get images and post them on World Landscape Architect]

Second Rate Urbanism – [landscape+urbanism]

Jason King takes a second look at Duany’s comments in the The Man who Reinvented the City

Prunings LXI – [Pruned]
Looking at Global Distribution of Aerosols

Infrastructure Gives Societies the Ability to Connect [Triple Pundit]
FedEX take on Infrastructure=Access

‘Art, Architecture, Scandal and Class in America’s Gilded Age’ review: Firm remade the urban landscape []
Book Review by Kathleen Daley of ‘Triumvirate: McKim, Mead and White: Art, Architecture, Scandal and Class in America’s Gilded Age’ by Mosette Broderick  (Pubished 26 October 2010)

Spotlight on trams: Helsinki [Guardian]

George W. Bush Presidential Center begins construction – [SMU Daily Campus]

TD Bank a step back for urbanism at RI Ave [Greater Greater Washington]

We are always on the lookout for more links and information for readers – email them to

For more Links from Todays news

Continue reading Land News 15 Nov 2010

London Cycle Hire Scheme goes live

Cycle Hire
SOURCE:  Flickr – By celesteh (Les Hutchins)

Recently London’s newest public transport system went live with 5000 bikes available with more than 12,000 members signed up to use the scheme, with over 6000 keys activated. Londoners using the scheme can from today take a cycle from one of 315 docking stations based every 300m or so throughout the centre of the Capital. The new bike scheme is part of the BIXI franchise.

Dongled Up
Bike Hire Key
SOURCE:  Flickr – By psd (Paul Downey)

Planting starts at London Olympic Park wetland

Planting Day at London Olympic Park Wetland

TV Gardener Charlie Dimmock helping local children with planting

The first of 4,000 new semi-mature trees are taking root in the London’s Olympic Park with around 100 ash, cherry and hazel trees, grown in Hampshire, already planted. The first of 300,000 wetland plants, grown in Norfolk and Wales for the UK’s largest ever urban river and wetland planting, were laid on the river banks today by Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson, TV Gardener Charlie Dimmock, Olympic Gold medal winner Jonathan Edwards, Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) Chairman John Armitt and children from the Olympic Park construction crew.

The new reed beds are being created in a large wetland bowl in the north of the Olympic Park, formerly a 100 year old landfill site, where visitors during the Games will be able to relax and watch the action in 2012 on live screens. In legacy the riverside area will be a tranquil space for people and wildlife which will also help protect 5,000 properties in the area from flooding.

Over 30 species of native reeds, rushes, grasses, sedges, wet wildflowers and irises have been grown initially by Salix in its nursery on the Gower peninsular in Wales with around a third grown from cuttings and seeds collected in and around the Olympic Park before construction started in 2008.

You can watch the park turn from brown to green with two new webcams

LDA Design in partnership with Hargreaves Associates was selected to design the Olympic Park parklands in spring 2008 and detailed designs were published in November 2008. They are supported by Sarah Price Landscapes, University of Sheffield, Sutton-Vane Associates and Waterwise SolutionsHilliers Nurseries in Hampshire is supplying over 2000 semi-mature trees for the Olympic Park. Salix was appointed to supply over 300,000 wetland plants for the Olympic Park. The detailed design of the river planting was carried out by Atkins.

Wetland Plants at Salix's Norfolk site


OLIN part of winning team for US Embassy

US Embassy London KieranTimberlake/OLIN

OLIN is part of the team lead by KieranTimberlake that recently won the competition for the US Embassy to be built in Battersea (London), UK. From among 37 architectural submissions, four finalists were chosen to explore the symbolism of the Embassy and its presence and position in the cityscape of London. OLIN was the landscape architect of choice for three of the four competition finalists: KieranTimberlake, Morphosis and Richard Meier & Partners, all of whom worked for nearly a year before making their final presentations to the jury.

The U.S. Department of State’s goal was to create an Embassy and landscape with a timeless quality to appropriately represent the United States of America in the United Kingdom. The winning team was selected by a distinguished jury of both American and British leaders in the fields of architecture, academia and diplomacy for a design which “met the goal of creating a modern, welcoming, timeless, safe and energy efficient embassy for the 21st century.”

The anticipated ground breaking for the Embassy will be in 2013 with a goal to complete construction in 2017. In addition to KieranTimberlake and OLIN, members of the winning team include Arup for Sustainability, MEP/FP and Civil Engineering; Weidlinger Associates for Structural and Blast Engineering; Gensler for workplace design; Davis Langdon for Cost Consulting; and Sako & Associates for Technical Security.

Partners Laurie Olin and Hallie Boyce will lead the design efforts.


US Embassy London - Aerial - OLIN/KierenTimberlake

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