'Activity-driven' feel for Olympic Park

Maintenance demands discussed for Olympic Park as designers reveal ethos for both zones.

Further details of the green spaces for the Olympic Park emerged last week at a conference where delegates also grilled key players on upkeep issues.

Designers for the 23ha south park said a 10m-wide tree-lined boulevard would form an arcing spine leading to zones for shows and mini festivals. Curving hedges would form "planting ribbons" to divide spaces.

Olympic Park Legacy Company head of design Eleanor Fawcett said the park would have an activity-driven feel with higher maintenance demands.

Garden designer Piet Oudolf will work on the south park, while Land Use Consultants will tackle a smaller site in the north of the park. This will centre on a play space in a naturalistic landscape including trees, rocks, sand and rivulets.

Land Use Consultants principal Jennette Emery Wallis said: "Our design is based on an unfolding leaf - revealing different key areas of the landscape. Ecology is a core concept and theme."

Welcoming the plan, Natural England London 2012 programme manager Jacqui Stearn said: "This is the first Olympic venue ever to have a biodiversity action plan."

But Julian Tollast, head of masterplanning at property company Quintain, said the park was likely to include formal gated areas and more open common land, which had tricky implications for long-term maintenance.

Fawcett said: "We are tuned in to the challenges because we have a responsibility to maintain landscapes to a high level."

Balfour Beatty is leading the 10-year contract worth £50m to manage the entire site and Fawcett added: "We have developed approaches on how to live up to what is demanded."

KeyStat

£12m - The estimated cost of creating the 23ha south park site for the post-games Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


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