James Corner Field Operations to Design London’s Olympic Park
James Corner Field Operations and erect architecture have won a competition to design Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, for post-Olympic public use. The competition, which was launched in July 2011, split the site into north and south sections; Corner will focus on the south end of the park while erect architecture will design the more wildlife-focused north end.
As planned by Corner’s team, the south park site will link four area attractions: the 374-foot (114m) tall ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, the landmark Aquatics Centre, the Olympic Stadium and the London 2012 Gardens. The area will offer a number of flexible-use spaces for commercial use and public events, and includes a tree-lined promenade with an event lawn, a hedge labyrinth and an outdoor theater.
London-based erect architecture, known for its whimsical playspaces, primary schools, and youth centers, will design the more wildlife-focused north end of the park, which benefits from its setting on the River Lea with its waterways, green spaces and paths. The site will incorporate a visitor center into the river valley and will feature a community hub including a nature-themed playground for tree climbing and den building. Basing the concept on elements of nature, play and education, erect architecture intends the site to inspire ‘everyday adventures in nature’. Plans include a one-mile road circuit for cyclists flanked by wetlands and miles of mountain bike trails.
Competition organizer Malcolm Reading said, “This has been an exceptional competition. Both winning teams struck exactly the right note in responding to two very different briefs.
“The South Park winning design features a resilient overlay of formal and informal landscape elements that have been assembled into a constellation of inventive spaces nestled around the major structures in this part of the Park.
“On the North, a very creative young practice has brought together what at first sight seems to be a loose-fit design but is in fact a beautifully considered hub building in a landscape full of excitement and diversity.”
The projects are due for completion in 2013/2014.
See http://www.london2012.com/olympic-park for more information about Olympic Park.
Images via ARTINFO
South: Design by James Corner Field Operations / courtesy of Olympic Park Legacy Company
North: Design by erect architecture / courtesy of Olympic Park Legacy Company