Landscape Institute to shoot films of key Olympic designers

The Landscape Institute is to shoot 10 films of key professionals involved in the Olympic Park design.

Neil Mattinson, senior partner at LDA Design, Tom Smith, a director of AECOM, garden designer Sarah Price and Kym Jones, managing director of Applied Landscape Design, will reveal their part in creating the Olympic Park.

The LI said it was keen to use the park as a "shining example" of how green infrastructure could be used to create unstoppable momentum for regeneration, job creation and private-sector investment.

Jones, whose practice worked on landscapes for the Olympic village including five courtyards and living roofs, said each film would be a few minutes long and go on the LI website as part of the project called Talking Heads.

"They are keen to get to a wider audience than their membership and interviewees say how they got involved, what they did and what landscape can bring to the wider agenda," said Jones, whose Oxfordshire practice is also working on the transformation of the site.

"We will turn the village from an oversized hotel into a community by creating play areas, linking up paths, designing interpretive signs and replacing temporary structures with landscapes. Wetland areas, used by Olympians for jogging, will be planted with 1,000 trees."

Other Olympic interviewees are landscape consultant Peter Neal, Phil Askew, project sponsor for parklands and public realm at London Legacy Development Corporation, and Arup associate director Tom Armour.

Two key members of the design team, professors Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough of University of Sheffield, will tell viewers about their role creating wildflower meadows, while ecologist Peter Shepherd will talk about the site’s rich environmental credentials.

An LI spokeswoman said: "In light of the massive success of the Olympic Park we want to see continued investment in new parks and green infrastructure across the UK. The park acts as a dramatic setting for the Olympic venues and is a catalyst for wider regeneration.

"A team of landscape architects led by British landscape architecture practice LDA-Design, with the American landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Associates, have been praised for creating a world class landscape from 100 hectares of highly contaminated brownfield land."

The spokeswoman said the project showed how a bigger vision for green infrastructure in a city like London could be a principal driver for regeneration and private investment. The park was a shining example of the economic and social benefits of green infrastructure on a grand scale.

Sue Illman, president of the Landscape Institute, said: "There’s little doubt the Olympic Park has made a massive contribution to the overall success of the Olympics and demonstrates what investment in our land and parks can do.

"The legacy of the Olympics should not only be about sporting achievement but about commitment to future investment in parks and green infrastructure as a fundamental part of all development across the UK."


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