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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West 8 wins Gold International Urban Landscape Award

“Neues Wohnen” in Hamburg-Jenfeld has been awarded the Golf Award in this year’s International Urban Landscape Award (IULA). The ecological neighbourhood project, which was submitted by West 8 urban design & landscapes architecture in Rotterdam, is the winner of the €25,000 prize.

Lea River Park in East London and The LifE Project in Hackbridge, Peterborough and Littlehamptom have been awarded the Silver and Bronze prizes.The Lea River Park Project, submitted by Design for London won €15,000 prize for second place while the LifE Project, submitted by Baca Architects won €10,000 for coming third.

In total, the quality of all 43 projects submitted was extremely high and the expert jury had to make tough decisions.

[SOURCE: Eurohypo]

Londoners to get 22,500 car charging points by 2015

Recently at the Copenhagen climate summit the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson revealed plans for a comprehensive network of electric charge points in the capital, supporting the mainstream use of zero carbon-emission electric vehicles by 2015. The plan shows that Londoners will have access to 22,500 charge points at work, 500 on the street and 2,000 in public car parks.

The Mayor also announced that after detailed investigations to establish operational requirements, early next year the Greater London Authority will publish a detailed procurement framework to buy 1000 electric vehicles for the GLA group fleet by 2015

The estimated cost of the 25,000 charging points, conversion of the Greater London Authority fleet and other initiatives to kick-start London’s electric vehicle revolution is £60million.

[SOURCE: Mayor of London]

£1.5 billion contract awarded for regeneration of Elephant & Castle

London Borough of Southwark announced that they have awarded the £1.5 billion (circa A$2.7 billion) regeneration of Elephant & Castle to Lend Lease.

The project is one of the most significant schemes of its type in Europe, comprising over 300,000 square metres of new build, mixed-use development, together with major infrastructure improvements and a range of enhanced community facilities. The location, within two miles of London’s West End, is unrivalled for a development of this scale.

The scheme comprises six phases. The first phase demolition is scheduled to commence in February 2010. Detailed planning consent for the first phase is expected to be achieved by April 2011. Both parties have expressed their commitment to work together on the redevelopment of all six phases of the site.

SOURCE: Lend Lease

IMAGE SOURCE: Elephant & Castle

Scape Design Associates appointed for new public square


Landscape architect Scape Design Associates has been appointed to create a new public square in a major west London shopping area after beating shortlisted rivals Gillespies and Burns & Nice. The design will be developed with continued public consultation for planning application.

IMAGE SOURCE: King Street Regeneration

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New Oxford Circus opens in London

Europe’s busiest diagonal crossing was unveiled today by London Mayor Boris Johnson following a £5million makeover which has seen Oxford Circus get the X factor.

For the first time ever shoppers will be able to cross the busy intersection diagonally in an ‘X’ as well as straight ahead – meaning the junction will be able to handle double the number of pedestrians and ease overcrowding.

Taking a lead from Tokyo’s famous Shibuya crossing, renowned for allowing large numbers to cross with ease, Oxford Circus, the gateway to London’s premier shopping destination, has had its barriers and street clutter ripped out and remodelled, giving the 200million shoppers and workers that visit annually around 70 per cent more freedom to move around.

SOURCE: Youtube – Tgear2009 (footage from BBC)

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