Landscape rolls out to mark official handover of the Olympic Park

Olympic Games and Paralympic Games organiser LOCOG has marked the handover of the Olympic Park to the London Legacy Development Corporation.

London Olympics 2012
London Olympics 2012

While the final piece of outer shell from the temporary seating at the aquatics centre came down to signal the hand over, landscaping work is being undertaken to ensure the park reopens in phases from 27 July 2013.  

Since the Paralympic closing ceremony, LOCOG has removed 140km of fencing, 240km of barriers and 100,000m2 of temporary sports surfaces. The reinstatement of 12 football pitches is taking place on Hackney Marshes.

Over the next 18 months the corporation will carry out a £292m construction programme called Clear, Connect, Complete to sweep away temporary Olympics’ facilities and join the park to the surrounding area with new parkland, paths and roads.

The North Park will be extended with new planting such as 4,300 semi-mature trees including 51 Black Poplars, more than 100,000 new shrubs and almost one million bulbs. A new park hub with a new cafe and community and events space will be created.

South Plaza, the size of 16 football pitches, will be transformed into London’s newest public space with a 12-metre wide tree-lined boulevard leading to outdoor rooms shaped by 5m wide planting designed by Piet Oudolf, climbable walls and giant swings.

This area has been designed by James Corner Field Operations, the same firm that designed New York’s High Line, a public garden which opened in June 2009 and now attracts four million visitors a year.

LLDC executive director Colin Naish said: "It’s only a couple of months since the Paralympics ended and the transformation of the site is already well under way. Taking control of the Park is another major milestone.

"In only eight months the park will begin to re-open. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be home to some of the best sporting and entertainment venues in the world, and will be a vibrant destination for people to live, work, visit and enjoy."

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