Three Mills Playspace Competition | London UK | We Made That & Free Play

Three Mills


A team comprising We Made That and Free Play have been chosen as the winner of the Three Mills Green Play-space competition, which sought proposals for designs for a new play-space located near the Olympic Park in the borough of Newham, East London.

We Made That and Free Play were selected from a shortlist of four teams, following an open call for expressions of interest, which yielded over 60 entries from practices and design teams from around the world. The other shortlisted teams were erect architecture, Kinnear Landscape Architects, and Studio Weave with Wayward Plants.

Three Mills
The Wild Kingdom will be a unique and distinctive terrain. It will be a place where the imagination is sparked: where the natural meets the artificial and unexpected. It is a place where nature and play conjoin: where trees swing above the ground and blossoms bend to make shelter. There will be mis-fit combinations of canopies that are clamberable, collections of conjoined tree stumps and stages that spring out of rocks.

The competition was organised by The Architecture Foundation on behalf of a collaborative partnership comprising The Legacy List charity, the Olympic Park Legacy Company, and the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (who own Three Mills Green, a key part of the 10,000 acre Lee Valley Regional Park).

Entries were judged by a high-profile jury including Neil Porter, Director, Gustafson Porter; Sarah Weir, Chief Executive, The Legacy List; Eleanor Fawcett Head of Design, OPLC; Rob Cairns, Head of Environmental Design, LVRPA; Sharon Cox, Early Intervention, Play Manager, LB Newham; and play expert Tim Gill, Writer/Researcher, Rethinking Childhood.

“The winning team did a great job of defining Three Mills Green as a place that, through its play territory, can reflect the odd juxtapositions of the varied urban and natural territories of its surroundings. We Made That and Free Play’s play territories and equipment will combine both organic and well-crafted forms in odd relationships, with the intention of creating imaginative responses from local children and the communities surrounding the park. I look forward to the results!” – Neil Porter, Director, Gustafson-Porter

Three Mills

IMAGE CREDIT: We Made That and Free Play

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at