Competition launched to design public squares for Olympic Park

Olympic organisers have today launched a competition to design two public squares for the Olympic Park.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company is inviting architects, landscape architects, engineers and designers to create London’s newest public space, along with two visitor centres and a major playground.

Teams have five weeks to express interest in creating two distinctive areas that will bring people together through a vibrant mix of cultural events, beautiful spaces and recreational uses when the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park opens in 2013.

The centre-piece will be major public space welcoming crowds to the south of the park. Sitting between the Aquatics Centre, the Stadium, the ArcelorMittal Orbit and the 2012 Gardens, this urban landscape will have a South Bank feel with plans for a visitor centre, outdoor events, water features and imaginative play facilities including a skate park.

The second area will be set within the green river valley created for the 2012 Games in the north of the park. This hub is said to have the potential to include one of London’s best playgrounds and a visitor centre with a caf� and seating terrace, along with large indoor space for local schools and community groups.

Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, Andrew Altman, said: “The south park will be London’s newest and most exciting public space, welcoming the world to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“With millions of people expected to visit the Park each year, this is a unique opportunity for design teams to create exceptional places that match the stunning mix of iconic venues and parkland that surround them.”

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The two areas will be a key part of the Legacy Company’s plans to make the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park a unique visitor destination and focal point for community activity.

Interested parties have until August 31 to submit expressions of interest through a pre-qualification questionnaire. Bids will then be reviewed and a shortlist of entrants will be asked to produce a concept design in the autumn.