London Calling: Olympic Park South Commission is a PennDesign Success
LONDON--James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), the New York-based contemporary design practice led by the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design's James Corner, MLA'86, Professor and Chairman of Landscape Architecture, has won the commission to design the new public spaces in London Olympic Park South.
This will be one of the first new public spaces and facilities added to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, which will host events following the 2012 Games.
Corner's team includes Richard Kennedy, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture and an army of PennDesign alumni, including Donghyouk Ahn, MLA'09, Megan Born, MArch/MLA'08, Justine Heilner, MLA'03, Alejandro Vazquez, MArch/MLA'11, Yitian Wang, MLA'10 and Stephanie Ulrich, MLA'10.
Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) chief executive Andrew Altman said they had "really captured the character of the Park as a compelling destination."
The south plaza, billed as having a Southbank feel by the OPLC, will feature a tree-lined promenade that can link spaces that could be used for cultural programs, food stalls and other attractions. This is where the bulk of visitors will come to the Park.
Design teams were asked to come up with imaginative plans for a visitor center, a playground, and a 50-acre urban landscape in the south plaza that links the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Center and the recently-completed landmark sculpture ArcelorMittal Orbit, designed by the artist Anish Kapoor in collaboration with engineer and Paul Philippe Cret Practice Professor of Architecture Cecil Balmond.
The bid beat more than 100 teams out for the job.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said Tuesday the public spaces will be at the heart of new communities that will develop in the area.