Forming the centrepiece 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. In 2008 LDA Design was appointed to lead the masterplanning and detailed design of the parklands and public realm, Europe’s most significant landscape project for a generation.
The parklands have been designed to host hundreds of thousands of visitors each day during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. Large areas of concourse link the venues, spectator lawns form breakout spaces, and landscape features like the London 2012 Gardens and the Great British Garden make the park a destination in itself. The hour- glass shape of the site naturally divides the park into a wilder northern half and more urban southern half connected by over five kilometres
of improved river banks. The previously canalised River Lee has been transformed into a three dimensional mosaic of wetland, swales, wet woodland, dry woodland and meadow, together forming an absorbent
flood-control measure and also ensuring that no spoil has had to be removed.
The park will form the backdrop to the most sustainable games to date. Waste has been minimised at every stage of the project so that over 95% of existing site material will be recycled within the park. Over four thousand semi-mature trees will be planted setting the scene for the creation of 45 hectares of new habitat post games while over a quarter of a million wetland plants will be planted in the improved water courses.
One of the key selling points of the London Olympic bid was a commitment to deliver regeneration. In addition to our games-mode role we have been commissioned to lead the design of the parkland in its post-games transformation where a permanent legacy of 102 hectares of metropolitan open land will be created. Temporary venues, structures and areas of concourse will be removed to make way for permanent parkland, designed to fit with the legacy masterplan for the wider area. This will complete the transformation of one of the most contaminated brownfield sites in the capital into a stunning new park for East London.