Design review panel comments on master-plan for Olympic Park

More thought needs to be given to public space before construction of Olympic Park begins, experts warn.

The need to have well-designed public spaces in the 2012 Olympic Park has been emphasised by the Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment (CABE) and Design for London. Some 40 representatives from both groups formed a London 2012 design review panel to comment on the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) master-plan for the park. It praised the overall design of the site but suggested that more thought should be given to public space before the bulk of the building work starts. Design for London director Peter Bishop said: “It is absolutely vital that we get the best possible designs for public space for the Olympic Park. The signs are so far very positive and we will be working hard to ensure this continues.” The panel said that particularly the pedestrian movement within the site should be a top consideration. In a report published on the group’s recommendations, the panel stated: “In simple terms, what is the experience before, during and after the Olympics, for the different kinds of people who visit or live in the area, of arriving in and moving through the Olympic Park? “What will the route from Stratford International to the main stadium be like? How will it feel to walk from Victoria Park only to arrive at the back of the main stadium? How will a local teenager living in Leyton walk to the tennis centre? What is the visitor experience of local and London-wide views?” The panel added that everyday features such as security fences, utilities buildings and water works should be designed with the visitors’ experience in mind. CABE deputy- and panel-chairman Paul Finch said: “The master-plan sets the scene for what we believe should be a series of exciting landscapes and excellent pieces of architecture.”

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