Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park North: Tumbling Bay Playground and Timber Lodge

Our brief was to create a hub building and playground embedded in the landscape setting of the Olympic Park. The landscape was designed as continuation of the Olympic Park with its large-scale buildings, powerful and fluid landforms and sweeps of planting and a focus on connectivity, fluidity of movement and ecology.
LUC's landscape vision masterplan explores the ecology theme by containing a series of character areas, which tell plant life-cycle stories – from pioneer birch and hazel woodlands through to climax pine forests and the developmental stages in between. Interweaved with this is the play layer, which uses these stories to inspire bespoke play and potential event opportunities within each space.
Community lawn, Hazel Copse, Seed pod dens, Den making and Bug hotels
Movement, Sand and Water play, Timeline of the River Lea, Natural River, Industrial River, Dockyard
The Scots Pine woodland represents the 'climax' of the succession planting narrative.
Intermingled with the pine, felled oaks were installed supporting an undulating net structure that spans a valley and allows easy access to canopy height. As the valley sides steepen the net gives way to tree houses, tunnels and bridges. The highest point, a giant 'hollow' tree allows a clambering route up within the thickness of the trunk to the loftiest perch. The scale, range and challenge of the structures leave plenty of scope for children to test limits of courage and ability.
Location: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
Client: London Legacy Development Corporation and BAM Nuttall
Cost: Confidential
Status: Completed 2013

MIPIM Special Jury Award 2015, winner
New London Award, Public Spaces, 2014, winner
Civic Trust National Award, 2014, winner
Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design, 2014, winner

Architecture, Scots Pine Forest playstructure design and lead consultants: erect architecture
Landscape architecture, play design, planning consultancy: LUC
Engagement and art strategy: Ashley McCormick
Services, underground drainage, BREEAM, acoustics: Max Fordham
Structural engineering: Tall Engineers
Quantity surveying: Huntley Cartwright
Access consultancy: Shape Arts
Play safety:RoSPA
Catering consultant: Russell Partnership
Contractor: BAM Nuttall
Landscape Sub-Contractor: Frost Landscapes
Specialist Play Sub-Contractor Scots Pine Play: Adventure Playground Engineers
Photography: David Grandorge, LUC