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Olympics site to become huge parkland post Games

The 2012 Olympic site will become a public park when the games finish, according to plans unveiled this week

The scheme by landscape architects LDA Design and Hargreaves Associates will turn 101 ha of former industrial land into the UK’s largest new urban park since the early Twentieth Century.

Avenues of trees and hedges will be used to provide a ‘welcoming entrance’ to the area, and more than 4,000 semi-mature British-grown trees will be planted across the Olympic Park and Olympic Village.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company has also outlined plans for ‘hanging gardens’ set 9m above ground on the footbridge linking the park to Stratford City, with meadows, lawns, shrubs and rows of trees welcoming people over the main walking entrance into the park.

A tree-lined road into the north of the site - modelled on The Mall and Birdcage Walk in central London - will feature distinctively designed lights, bollards and traffic management so visitors feel like they are within the park.

Source: ODA

There will also be a new regional sports club set in parkland, with a tranquil garden square centred on the original Eton Manor Boys Club war memorial and lined with sweet gum trees which turn red around Remembrance Day.

More than 300,000 wetland plants and hundreds of thousands of flowers and bulbs will also be planted in a variety of wooded hills, meadows, ponds, lawns, gardens and wet woodlands.

Minister for Olympics and London Tessa Jowell said: ‘The Olympics will create a stunning green oasis in east London that in legacy will join the long list of world famous parks London is so lucky to have.

‘Nowhere else will features like the great British garden, wetlands and new wildlife habitats sit side by side with world class sports facilities. This will be a destination that the whole nation can be proud of.’

Hargreaves Associates' plans for a post-Olympic park

Source: ODA

LDA Design and Hargreaves Associates’ plans for a post-Olympic park


Project data


Architects: LDA Design.Hargreaves Associates
Location: Olympic Park, Stratford
Type Of Project: Parklands and Public Realm
Structural Engineers: as above
Design Team: Arup - Landscape Engineers South Park/Atkins Landscape Engineers North Park/Atkins – River Engineering/Sarah Price – Garden Designer
Client: Olympic Delivery Authority
Funding: DCMS, Lottery Funded, Mayor of London, London Development Agency
Tender date: Various
Start on site date: Various
Contract duration: Substantial completion March 2011, legacy transformation complete summer 2013
Gross area: 102 hectares
Form of contract and/or procurement: Various
Total cost: £200m for Games time parklands + legacy transformation
M&E consultant: Atkins/Arup
Quantity surveyor: ODA Delivery Partner
Planning supervisor: Atkins/Arup
Lighting consultant: Sutton-Vane Associates
Main contractor: Bam Nuttall, Management Contractor North Park with Frosts Landscape, White Horse Landscape, Land and Water. South Park: Skanska with Willerby and English Landscapes; Stadium: Willerby.
Selected subcontractors and suppliers: Semi-mature trees: Hilliers. Wetland Plants: Salix.
Annual co2 emissions: N/A

Readers' comments (3)

  • A brilliant idea, which should be sustainable. The open spaces in London are the best in the world and this seems like a sensible solution to beat the failures of past event sites

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  • Is a park really what the east-end needs?

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  • A really important aspect of this is the lighting. If the public is to get real value for money from this people need to want to use it night and day. The lighting consultant on this project is Sutton Vane Associates (, which did the big city centre regeneration lighting schemes in Portsmouth and Liverpool and has a track record of sustainable projects. It should be worth keeping an eye on this aspect of the project.

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