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Olympic Park legacy: North Park hub approved as South Plaza plans submitted

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Erect Architecture’s has won planning permission for a community hub on the Olympic Park while James Corner Field Operations and Make have submitted plans for a post-games public realm

Both schemes are the result of high-profile competitions run by the future park owner London Legacy Development Corporation last year.

Erect Architecture’s North Park scheme for the area West of Hopkins’ Velodrome features an ecology-themed community building and play space for visitors.

The project, designed with Tall Engineers and Max Fordham,  allows children to build dens, grow plants, climb trees and play on a series of platform walkways, slides and bridges connected to trees.

Erect’s timber-clad hub will feature a café, reception area, offices, toilets and a flexible space that can be used by schools and community groups.

Approved: Erect Architecture's North Park community hub and play space on the Olympic Park in London

Approved: Erect Architecture’s North Park community hub and play space on the Olympic Park in London

London Legacy Development Corporation chief executive Andrew Altman said: ‘The North Park will be the first area of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to open from July 2013. It will be one of the most beautiful green spaces in London with wetlands, clean waterways and beautiful parklands for everyone to enjoy.

Barbara Kaucky, director at Erect Architecture added: ‘As local architects, the extraordinary Olympic project has been growing on our doorstep. It is a great feeling to be able to play a role in ensuring that the Games leave behind a sustainable legacy.’

The design team was selected ahead of bids by Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture, David Kohn Architects, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects and Ushida Findlay Architects.

Meanwhile, James Corner Field Operations and Make have submitted plans for a post-games public realm between the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre.

Submitted for planning: James Corner Field Operations' and Make's South Plaza scheme on the Olympic Park in London

Submitted for planning: James Corner Field Operations’ and Make’s South Plaza scheme on the Olympic Park in London

Planned to open in Spring 2014, the competition-winning 11 hectare South Plaza features a tree-lined promenade and landscaped ‘rooms’ for picnics, performances and play. The scheme features planting and horticulture by Piet Oudolf who designed the garden within Peter Zumthor’s 2011 Serpentine Pavilion.

London Legacy Development Corporation chair Daniel Moylan said: ‘The South Plaza will be a unique recreational space for London. One that combines stunning scenery with an ever changing programme of events and attractions to entertain and inspire.

‘It will become a powerful draw for millions of visitors each year and a gateway to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.’

James Corner, principal of James Corner Field Operations, added: ‘The new park is organised around a dramatic tree-lined promenade that connects the south to the north. A series of garden rooms offer a wide range of active spaces for both informal, impromptu social uses as well as for more formal programmed events.

‘The design projects a green, active and playful sequence of spaces for new social uses and interactions.’

The design team beat Heneghan Peng, Niall McLaughlin, and others to win the contest for the South Plaza in December.

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