Schwartz takes on riverside job

Leading designer to create design for gateway area to Olympic site.

World-famous landscape architect Martha Schwartz is set to roll out public realm to a village of lozenge-shaped tower blocks opposite the O2, formerly known as the Millennium Dome. Landscape beside the Thames will include tree-lined walkways and public areas defined by glass skyscrapers. The 4.5ha brownfield site on Leamouth Peninsula is being hailed as a gateway to Stratford, the O2 and the site of the 2012 Olympics. The project will include 1,837 homes and a showcase bridge. Around £9m will be made available for open spaces, transport, health and education. Ballymore Properties won outline planning permission to turn the former refinery for Pura Foods into the 180,000sq m scheme. US firm Martha Schwartz Partners will work with architecture practice Skidmore, Owings & Merrill on the project. The firm’s London office is led by Landscape Institute president Nigel Thorne. Work is due to start in autumn with the bridge and first homes set for completion in 2009. The tallest tower will rise to 85m, the smallest to 44m. Schwartz is famous for pop-art-inspired designs based on mundane consumerist items. Designs have included giant bagels and umbrella-like canopies.

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