Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park by Ares Landscape Architects is the winner of Landscape Project of the Year at the 2018 AJ Architecture Awards
Built for the 1991 Student Games, the Don Valley Athletics Stadium was flattened to save costs in 2013 and the site lay dormant for several years.
Its ongoing reimagination as a future sports-related business hub has been underpinned by a ‘genuinely stimulating’ new landscape infrastructure designed by Ares Landscape Architects.
Featuring sculptural landforms made from demolition fill, a 100m running track and 1km to 6km jogging routes, the £6.5 million scheme brings together existing and under-construction projects while laying the ground for the next stages.
The judges described the winning project as an imaginative piece of landscape-first regeneration. They said: ‘The scheme features clever connectivity throughout the site, which has already brought people into the declining area and delivered a highly sustainable “slot-in” infrastructure network, ready for the next wave of new development around it.’
The jury was impressed, too, by how the landscaping improvements had boosted the value of the land – which had been in negative equity – to about £500,000 an acre, even before any of the buildings had been constructed.
Walthamstow Wetlands by Witherford Watson Mann Architects and Kinnear Landscape Architects
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A high commendation was handed to the transformation of Walthamstow Wetlands into a public amenity. The jury praised the scheme’s ‘subtle, light-touch’ approach, which has ‘reused and delivered an original Victorian narrative, opening up an almost bucolic landscape to the public as once envisaged and acting as a catalyst for further regeneration.’
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