The London 2012 Olympic Park is one of the most significant new pieces of urban realm to have been created in living memory. LDA Design in collaboration with Hargreaves Associates has led the design of the Parklands and Public Realm for the entire 102 hectare site and has masterminded its transformation from contaminated industrial land into a 21st century park. The practice has also led the design of its post- Games transformation into a permanent public park. Forming the centre piece of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the 2.5km2 Olympic Park is the largest new urban park in the capital since the Victorian era and is a catalyst for regeneration in East London.
As we enter December and start to look back at landscape architecture projects of 2012, there is one project that stands out – The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. A park that involved numerous landscape architecture firms and allied professionals. The Landscape Institute recently published a short video – The Olympic Park: a Landscape Legacy produced by Room60. The video shows the transformational power of landscape and how various landscape architects can join together as a team.
With the 2012 Olympic summer games over in London the flag has been passed onto Rio de Janeiro for 2016 Olympics. AECOM won the International Competition for the Urban Master Plan of the Rio 2016 Olympic Park las August. Once again cities are incorporating planning for a ‘Games Mode’ and a ‘Legacy Mode’ where the area is slowly transformed over the proceeding years into new uses. Previous Olympic Parks have had varying rates of success transformed areas of cities including Sydney and Beijing(although there are still issues surrounding the main stadium), whereas Athens has fallen into disrepair and been hard hit by the financial crisis.
A design competition was held in late 2011 to create designs for the North Park Hub and Playground, the social focus of the northern part of the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and a key resource for local residents after the 2012 Games. London-based firm erect architecture were chosen for their winning design concept to create a community hub building integrated into the parkland and river valley of the north park area.
With the London 2012 Olympic over and the Paralympic Games soon to begin, but it won’t be long the all the teams and fans will be at home and the Olympics Park will be empty. The question always comes up what now for the venues, parks and infrastructure that was built for the Olympics? Well the legacy planning has been in the works with the Mayor setting up the London Legacy Development Corporation that will be “setting and maintaining standards for quality of design, construction and urban planning, to ensure a sustainable and enduring legacy for the Park”. Continue reading 2012 London Olympics | Legacy