Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

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Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park
The park in April 2012
The park in April 2012
Map of the park
Map of the park
Coordinates: 51°32′46″N 0°00′46″W / 51.54615°N 0.01269°W / 51.54615; -0.01269Coordinates: 51°32′46″N 0°00′46″W / 51.54615°N 0.01269°W / 51.54615; -0.01269
Country England, United Kingdom
City London
London Borough Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Hackney
District Stratford, Bow, Leyton, Homerton
Time zone UTC (UTC0)
 • Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Postcode E20
Website queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk

Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park, in London, United Kingdom, is a sporting complex built for the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2012 Summer Paralympics, situated to the east of the city adjacent to the Stratford City development. It contains the athletes' Olympic Village and several of the sporting venues including the Olympic Stadium and London Aquatics Centre, besides the London Olympics Media Centre. The park is overlooked by the ArcelorMittal Orbit, an observation tower and Britain's largest piece of public art. It was simply called Olympic Park during the Games but was renamed afterward to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II,[1] (though it is not an official Royal Park of London).[2] The park occupies an area straddling four east London boroughs; Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest. Part of the park reopened in July 2013,[3] with a large majority of the rest (including the Aquatics Centre, Velopark and Orbit observation tower) reopening in April 2014.[4]

Location[edit]

The site covers parts of Stratford, Bow, Leyton, and Hackney Wick in East London, overlooking the A12 road. The site was previously a mixture of greenfield and brownfield land, including parts of Hackney Marshes.[5]

The Royal Mail gave the park and Stratford City the postcode E20, which had previously only appeared in the television soap opera EastEnders for the fictional suburb of Walford.[6]

Transport[edit]

Railway stations[edit]

Stratford[edit]

Stratford station is the main station in the area and is a major station. It is the 19th busiest in the United Kingdom. It is the terminus of the London Underground Jubilee Line from Stanmore, Wembley, The West End of London and Canary Wharf. London Underground Central Line also serves the station with services coming from Epping, Loughton, Woodford, Hainault, West Ruislip station, Ealing Broadway station, Shepherd's Bush and The West End. The Stratford branch of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) also terminates here with trains coming from Lewisham, Greenwich and Canary Wharf. The DLR Stratford International branch also runs through the station from Woolwich Arsenal station, London City Airport, Beckton, ExCeL Centre at Custom House and Canning Town through to Stratford International. Stratford is also the terminus of the London Overground North London line with services from Richmond, Clapham Junction, Shepherd's Bush, Willesden Junction station, Hampstead Heath railway station, Gospel Oak, Dalston Kingsland station and Hackney Central station. Greater Anglia operates frequent long distance trains from this station to London Liverpool Street station, Romford, Shenfield, Chelmsford, Colchester, Braintree, Bishop Stortford, Ipswich, Southend, Clacton-on-Sea and Norwich. c2c also operates services to Tilbury, Basildon and Southend.

Stratford International[edit]

Stratford International is on the high speed CTRL line to Kent. Southeastern operates high speed services to St. Pancras International, Gravesend, Chatham, Sittingbourne, Faversham, Ashford, Kent, Folkestone, Dover, Canterbury, Ramsgate and Margate. The DLR also serves the station with trains coming from Woolwich Arsenal station, London City Airport, Beckton, ExCeL Centre at Custom House, Canning Town and Stratford.

Pudding Mill Lane[edit]

Pudding Mill Lane DLR station is a small station just south of the park. It is so small that it was closed during the Olympics for safety reasons. DLR trains serve the station from Stratford, Lewisham, Greenwich and Canary Wharf.

Hackney Wick[edit]

Hackney Wick railway station is on the London Overground North London line with services from Stratford, Richmond, Clapham Junction, Shepherd's Bush, Willesden Junction station, Hampstead Heath, Gospel Oak, Dalston Kingsland station and Hackney Central station.

London Buses[edit]

Bus stations[edit]

Stratford City[edit]

Stratford City bus station has buses to Walthamstow, Chingford, Canning Town, Canary Wharf, Clapton, Leytonstone and Shadwell with also London Buses route 388 serving it to Blackfriars.

Stratford[edit]

Stratford bus station has bus and coach services to Central, North, North East, East and South East London and to Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk. 25 serves Stratford to Oxford Circus and 108 to Lewisham. National Express and Terravision operate 24 hour coach services to London Stansted Airport.

Bus links[edit]

Bow Church[edit]

Bow Church has service serving Central (8, 25, 205, N8, N205), North (276, 488), North East (425, 488) and South East (108) London.

Hackney Wick[edit]

Hackney Wick has services to Central London:

and services to North London

and services to East London

  • 276 to Newham General Hospital
  • 488 to Bromley by Bow Tesco

Design[edit]

The park was designed by the EDAW Consortium (including EDAW and Buro Happold), working with Arup and WS Atkins. The park, including legacy, was taken over by LDA Design in conjunction with Hargreaves Associates and in collaboration with Arup and Atkins. LDA design contracted Wallace whittle to carry out various aspects of the M+E Building services design. The NHBC carried out the Sustainability assessments. The park was illuminated with a lighting scheme[7] designed by Sutton Vane Associates.

London's Olympic and Paralympic bid proposed that there would be four indoor arenas in the park in addition to the main venues, but the revised master plan published in 2006 reduced this to three, with the volleyball events moved to the Earls Court Exhibition Centre.[8] The fencing arena was also cancelled, with the fencing events taking place at ExCeL London. The remaining indoor arenas are the Basketball Arena and the Copper Box, in addition to the Water Polo Arena, the Aquatics Centre, and the Velopark. The final design of the park was approved by the Olympic Delivery Authority and its planning-decisions committee.

Construction[edit]

During its construction over 80,000 workers were engaged on the project.[9] To enable the major phase of construction to begin, the 52 electricity pylons, up to 65 metres (213 feet) high, that dominated the landscape in and around the park were removed, and the electricity for the park is now run through underground tunnels.[10]

The parts of the park[edit]

The London Aquatics Centre with the ArcelorMittal Orbit on the right
  • The International Quarter

In addition at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic games

Legacy[edit]

Further information: London 2012 Olympic Legacy

The park has a number of uses after the most 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London as:[11][12]

  • A part of the East London Tech City technology hub.[13]
  • One of the largest urban parks created in Europe for more than 150 years, designed to enrich the local ecology by restoring wetland habitats and planting native species.[14]
  • A university exploiting the sporting facilities and high-tech communications infrastructure remaining specialising in sport science, digital media and green technology.[12]
  • 3,600 apartments, the East Village, next to the Stratford City neighbourhood of Stratford, London.
  • The Manor Garden Allotments (reinstated after alternative use).[15]
  • The (ArcelorMittal) Orbit, a steel tower which is the largest public work of art in the UK and a tourist attraction.[16]
  • On 27 February 2012, it was announced that the UK's main Olympic Museum will be opened at the park in 2014.[17]

On 2 August 2011, it was announced the five neighbourhoods of housing and amenities (anti-clockwise from north-east) are:

These names have relevant history in the area.[18] All four of the East London boroughs covering the park as such have a neighbourhood except for Waltham Forest.

The International Quarter[edit]

The International Quarter is a new commercial district within Stratford, East London, which hosted the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.[19] It will be a mixed-use development,[20] with a total investment of in excess of £1.3 billion, and will be delivered by Lend Lease and London & Continental Railways in a 50/50 joint venture.[21]

The International Quarter will include 4 million sq ft of commercial office space,[22] 330 homes known as Glasshouse Gardens and a new hotel.[23]

The area is accessible via Stratford underground, the nearest London Underground station, which is connected to the Central and Jubilee lines[24] The International Quarter can also be reached via Stratford International, Overground and DLR, with Crossrail arriving in 2019.[19]

Future international sporting events[edit]

Although the sporting venues in the park were reduced in scale after the conclusion of London 2012, part of the legacy is to ensure the continued use of those facilities that are permanent, as local and community resources and for major international sporting events that make use of the world class facilities constructed for the Olympics and Paralympics:

  • The Stadium will host the London Grand Prix athletics event starting in 2013.[25]
  • The third stage of the 2014 Tour de France between Cambridge and The Mall in London will pass through the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. [1]
  • In 2010, a bid was submitted to use the Stadium as the venue for the 2015 World Athletics Championships. Due to the then uncertainty over the future use of the stadium, this bid was withdrawn, with instead a subsequent bid for the 2017 World Championships submitted instead. The success of this bid was announced in November 2011.[26]
  • It was announced in March 2012 that England will host the 2015 European Hockey Championships, which will take place at the revamped Lee Valley Hockey Centre.[27]
  • London was announced as the only formal bidder for the 2017 IPC World Athletic Championships in October 2012.[28]
  • In December 2012 the International Tennis Federation announced that the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre would host the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters between 2014 and 2016.[29]

London has also bid for the right to hold both the UCI Track Cycling World Championships and the LEN European Aquatics Championships in 2016, which would be held at the Velodrome and Aquatics Centre respectively.[30][31]

Resident sports clubs[edit]

In addition to the use of the venues for international events, some of them are intended for use on a regular basis by professional sports teams in various sports.

Olympic Stadium[edit]

On 11 February 2011, West Ham United were selected as preferred bidders, ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, to take over the stadium as a football venue after the end of the games. However, five days later Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn announced that he would be challenging the decision to allow West Ham to relocate to the stadium, as he believed that having West Ham playing within one mile (1.6 km) of their Brisbane Road stadium could cost Orient support and even their existence.[32] Incidentally, Hearn had expressed interest some years earlier in moving Orient to Olympic Park and reducing its capacity to 25,000 seats,[33] while West Ham would cut the capacity to 60,000 if their relocation went ahead.[34]

Copper Box[edit]

The Copper Box will be the only permanent indoor arena remaining after the end of London 2012. Built primarily for use in the handball and goalball competitions, it will be converted to a multi-use venue that will include use for basketball. As a result of the owners of the Prestige Homes Arena in Milton Keynes terminating their lease, the London Lions basketball club, after a season at the National Sports Centre, Selhurst, will relocate to the Copper Box (upon conversion).[35]

Concerts[edit]

In January 2013 music concert promoter Live Nation won the right to stage shows at the stadium and in the surrounding park. The park hosted the music events in July 2013, but the stadium was not used.[36] The former site of the Riverbank Arena is set to be used to stage the Hard Rock Calling, Wireless and Electric Daisy Carnival festivals .[37]

Criticism[edit]

Rowan Moore, writing in the Guardian when the QE Park opened, commented that [38] 'There is a frenzy of wacky light fittings, of playground installations, of seats, tree species, sculptural lumps of granite, kiosks, railings and coloured surfaces...It suffers from an Olympic syndrome, where everyone wants to be a Mo or a Jessica and make their mark. No one, except perhaps the admirable Oudolf, wants to do the quiet stuff. Certainly not the student housing developers Unite, who have built an astoundingly ugly block of 1,001 units between the Athletes' Village and Westfield shopping centre that looms aggressively in almost every vista. Great care was taken to make the Athletes' Village aesthetically orderly, to the point where it began to resemble Ceausescu's Bucharest: this eruption makes such efforts futile'. Robert Holden and Tom Turner, in a review of the Olympic Park's landscape architecture [39] state that 'Our fundamental point is that "the landscape planning is much better than the landscape design". The landscape planning includes the opening up of the River Lea in the northern section of the park, the habitat-creation strategy and the park's excellent links with its hinterland. The landscape design is dominated by vast pedestrian concourses which will be busy during events but will resemble unused airport runways on every other occasion. There is some good garden-type planting but it has not been used to make "gardens": it is used more like strips of planting beside highways'.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Games Site Renamed the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park BBC News, 7 October 2010; Retrieved 12 May 2012
  2. ^ Minton, Anna (2012). Ground Control (2nd ed.). Penguin. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Traci Watson (24 July 2013). "A year after London Games, Olympic Park reopens". USA i t has helped many Today. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Park | Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park". Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Protest stirs in troubled east - Paul Kelso in The Guardian February 15, 2005 date accessed: 30 October 2006
  6. ^ Olympic Park To Share EastEnders' Walford E20 Postcode BBC News, 19 March 2011; Retrieved 12 May 2012
  7. ^ "London 2012 Olympic Parklands". Michael Grubb Studio. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "London Unveils Olympic Masterplan". BBC Sport. 7 June 2006. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "HRSID London Olympic Park Project Stats". hrsid.com. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  10. ^ Last pylon removed from Olympic Park as £250m powerlines project delivered on time and to budget London 2012, 9 December 2008
  11. ^ Building London 2012 London 2012
  12. ^ a b Gourlay, Chris (19 April 2009). "University To Be Built in London Olympic Park". The Times.  (subscription required)
  13. ^ "Cameron Reveals Silicon Valley Vision for East London". BBC News. 3 November 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "London Games Promises Beautiful Green Legacy". London Press Service. 1 February 2012. 
  15. ^ Last Stand on Olympic Allotments BBC News, 24 September 2007; Retrieved 16 July 2012
  16. ^ Brown, Mark (31 March 2010). "Climb This: Anish Kapoor's Massive Artwork That Will Tower over London". guardian.co.uk. 
  17. ^ Olympic Museum To Be Opened on Olympic Park after London 2012 Inside the Games, 27 February 2012
  18. ^ "London 2012 Olympic Park Neighbourhood Names Revealed". BBC News. 2 August 2011. 
  19. ^ a b TIQ Stratford City. "Stratford Renaissance Partnership", Lend Lease. Retrieved on 27 January 2014.
  20. ^ Unattributed. "East London’s Glasshouse Gardens launches in Singappore", Property Report. Retrieved on 27 January 2014.
  21. ^ Morby, Aaron. "Lend Lease London Stratford resi towers approved", Construction Enquirer. Retrieved on 27 January 2014.
  22. ^ NLA. "The International Quarter", NLA. Retrieved on 27 January 2014.
  23. ^ Starboard Hotels. "TIQ Stratford – New East London Hotel Development", Starboard Hotels. Retrieved on 27 January 2014.
  24. ^ Staff Reporter. "300 homes in Glasshouse Gardens go on sale this week ", Singapore Business Review. Retrieved on 27 January 2014.
  25. ^ "Olympic Stadium to host Diamond League meeting". BBC News. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  26. ^ IAAF.org (25 August 2007). "London selected to host 2017 IAAF World Championships". iaaf.org. Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  27. ^ England To Host 2015 European Hockey Championships at Olympic Park Inside the Games, 21 March 2012
  28. ^ Olympic Stadium set to host 2017 World Paralympic Championships. Telegraph. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  29. ^ "Olympic Park to stage NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters". ITF tennis. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  30. ^ "Double celebration for capital's cyclists as Mayor and British Cycling announce London to bid for Track Cycling World Championships - London & Partners". Londonandpartners.com. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  31. ^ "London bids for European Swimming Championships 2016 - London & Partners". Londonandpartners.com. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  32. ^ "Olympic Stadium Ruling Challenged". FootballFanCast.com. Snack Media. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  33. ^ McNulty, Phil (8 November 2006). "Orient Reveal Olympic Switch Hope". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  34. ^ "Orient Enters Arena over Olympic Stadium Future". FMWorld. British Institute of Facilities Management. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  35. ^ "REVEALED: Lions to leave Milton Keynes for Olympic Park in London". Milton Keynes Citizen. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  36. ^ Live Nation strikes deal to exclusively host gigs at Olympic Stadium | Media | guardian.co.uk. Guardian. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  37. ^ BBC News - Live Nation secures Olympic Park for concerts. Bbc.co.uk (2013-01-22). Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  38. ^ The Guardian The Guardian 6 April 2014
  39. ^ Gardenvisit.com Gardenvisit.com and Youtube

External links[edit]