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5th Studio to design new London 'cornucopia' - image

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Up-and-coming Cambridge practice 5th Studio has been chosen to design a new London park stretching from the Olympic site to the Thames.

London Thames Gateway Development chose 5th Studio's 'cornucopia' concept over designs submitted by West 8, Witherford Watson Mann, Gillespies, Stock Woolstencroft and the Landscape Partnership.

The scheme will centre on the River Lea, says the firm, and will rival London's great parks in scale. Spreading across some 250ha, the project will include 30,000 to 40,000 new homes.

In its winning proposal, the 40 under 40 practice insisted that the park will be a 'major ecological instrument for London', a 'place of plenty' or 'an edible part of the city'.

Its statement continued: 'The Lea Valley has long been a key territory for provisioning London. We propose that, as part of the broader valley, the Lower Lea Valley Park is conceived of as a cornucopia - a place that explores, humanises and celebrates the systems that support the city.'

Illuminating 5th Studio's thinking, director Tom Holbrook said: 'London has made a pivotal contribution to the idea of the public urban park and it is exciting to potentially contribute to that tradition via this project, and also to make this significant public space available to Londoners in the near future.'

5th Studio will work alongside Whitbybird and landscape architect Latz & Partner to create the park.

by Clive Walker

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