The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has scooped the Mayor’s prestigious award for ‘Planning Excellence’ at this year's London Planning Awards. In a ceremony at City Hall this evening, Sir Terry Farrell was also recognised for his special contribution to planning and development in the city over the last decade.
The Park formed the centrepiece of the hugely successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The 102 hectare site is Europe’s most significant landscape project for a generation and the largest new urban park in the capital. It is now being transformed to provide up to eight permanent venues for major concerts and sporting events as well as thousands of new homes in five new neighbourhoods complete with new schools and health facilities for the new communities. This will create 8,000 new jobs plus a 2,500-strong temporary construction workforce leaving an important legacy and acting as a major catalyst for regeneration in the east of London.
Due to the scale and complexity of the project many challenges had to be overcome before the masterplan for the Park could begin construction. The original brownfield site was one of the most contaminated in the capital containing a post-war munitions dump, battery and match making factories as well as 52 electricity pylons, neglected waterways and a “Fridge Mountain”.
Key to the design is over 8.5 kilometres of improved and restored waterways which connect the two halves of the park. The River Lee has been transformed into a three dimensional mosaic of wetland, swales, wet woodland, dry woodland and meadow. Together they form a water sensitive design and an absorbent flood-control measure which also ensured that over 90 per cent of spoil was cleaned and reused on site and not removed to landfill.
Other winners of the night include Kings Cross station for best built project, the Aylesbury Estate Regeneration Phase 1a for best new place to live, Leyton Town Centre for best town centre project, The Roundhouse for best built project five years on, and Ladywell Fields in Lewisham for best new public space.
The annual London Planning Awards are jointly run by the Mayor and London First, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), and London Councils and were created in 2003 to recognise projects, schemes and planning professionals and organisations that have made a vital contribution to the capital in making it a better place to live, work, do business or visit.
This year the Mayor gave a special award to Sir Terry Farrell for his unique contribution to planning and development in the capital over the last 10 years. He has worked on masterplans for large parts of London including Earls Court, Holborn, Nine Elms, Vauxhall, Wood Wharf and Old Oak Common, as well as influencing thinking through voluntary initiatives and “visioning” for The Royal Parks, Buckingham Palace, Marylebone/Euston Road and the Thames Gateway. Qualified as both a town planner and an architect, he has designed buildings such as the new Home Office headquarters, Regents Place and the new Transport for London headquarters on the Greenwich Peninsula. Sir Terry is currently visiting professor at The Bartlett (UCL) and University of Westminster and lectures widely on the public realm and vital spaces in between buildings.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This award is for every one of the thousands of people and organisations who have contributed to the overwhelming success of the Olympic Park design. They have delivered a brand new district for London which is admired the world over and laid the foundations for an amazing legacy for this great city.
"Yet again the standard of entries this year is excellent. From town centres to public buildings and new green spaces, the variety and quality of the submitted projects gives me great confidence and excitement about the fantastic transformations we are seeing in every corner of this great city.
“This year I am particularly delighted to be able to recognise the exceptional work of Sir Terry Farrell who has made an incredible contribution to London's public realm which is enjoyed by Londoners and visitors from around the world.”
Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said: “The London Planning Awards celebrate the best of what can be achieved in the capital. They demonstrate what is possible when we work together to create great buildings, places and neighbourhoods. This year’s winners and all nominees are outstanding and their projects will help strengthen London’s position as the best city in the world. The planning and development of Olympic Park is an outstanding symbol of London’s ability to host major events and the major regeneration of East London.”
Dr Peter Geraghty, President of the RTPI, said: “I am delighted that following the success of the Games, which celebrated sporting excellence, that the Olympic Park has won the Mayor’s Award. The Park is an example of the excellence of British planning expertise and deserves this award, recognising the years of work that went into making the Olympics and Paralympics the sporting and cultural success it was. Billions of people across the world saw the best of British planning; we should be proud of the planning that went into it and proud of the planners who made a vision a reality, now and for future generations.”
Mayor Jules Pipe, Chair of London Councils, said: “The exceptionally high quality across the range of categories this year shows that London’s planning system is producing world quality architecture. London’s boroughs play a key role in planning and ensuring such developments add social, economic and environmental value to local communities. Congratulations to all the winners.”
The awards were presented at a ceremony at City Hall on Thursday 31st January. The judging panel was made up of representatives from the Mayor, London First, RTPI and London Councils. The Mayor selected the winner of his special award for 'Planning Excellence'.
CATEGORY 1: BEST BUILT PROJECT sponsored by CBRE
For its major contribution to last year's Olympic and Paralympic experience, and its ongoing role in regenerating east London, a Best Built Project commendation goes to Westfield Stratford City submitted by Westfield with the London Borough of Newham, the ODA Planning Decisions Team, RPS and Ashurst.
For its audacious and awe-inspiring integration of the finest railway heritage with cutting-edge modern design, the winner of the Best Built Project award is Kings Cross Station submitted by Network Rail and the London Borough of Camden, together with John McAslan and Partners, and English Heritage.
CATEGORY 2: BEST BUILT PROJECT COMMUNITY SCALE sponsored by Land Securities
For its inspirational response to the complex challenges of life in the city, a Best Built Project Community Scale commendation goes to Dysons Road Community Hub submitted by the Diocese of London, together with the London Borough of Enfield and Wilson Stephen Associates.
Rightly perceived as the jewel in the crown of Deptford's regeneration, the winner of the Best Built Project Community Scale award is Tidemill Academy and Deptford Lounge submitted by Pollard Thomas Edwards architects, with the London Borough of Lewisham.
CATEGORY 3: BEST CONCEPTUAL PROJECT sponsored by Berwin Leighton Paisner
For its thoughtful and fine-grained approach to the design of spaces and connections in a complex urban setting, a Best Conceptual Project commendation goes to Embassy Gardens submitted by Terry Farrell & Partners, with Ballymore and Farrells.
For rising to the post-Olympic challenge - and successfully grasping the baton - the winner of the Best Conceptual Project award is the Legacy Communities Scheme submitted by AECOM with the London Legacy Development Corporation and the Allies & Morrison-led consortium.
CATEGORY 4: BEST NEW PUBLIC SPACE sponsored by Hogan Lovells
For its unique combination of civic grandeur and playful informality, a Best New Public Space commendation goes to Granary Square, Kings Cross N1C submitted by Argent (King's Cross) Ltd, together with King's Cross Central Limited Partnership, Townshend Landscape Architects and Fountain Workshop .
For its spellbinding riverine transformation and superbly executed pastoral vision the winner of the Best New Public Space award is Ladywell Fields, Lewisham submitted by BDP, with the London Borough of Lewisham.
CATEGORY 5: BEST NEW PLACE TO LIVE sponsored by Ardmore Group
For its impressive community-led approach to inner city regeneration, and its carefully-considered urban form, a Best New Place to Live commendation goes to The regeneration of Packington Estate submitted by Rydon, with the Hyde Group.
Standing as a proud testament to the merits of inspirational and robust design-led place-making, the winner of Best New Place to Live award is Aylesbury Estate Regeneration Phase 1A submitted by Levitt Bernstein Associates Ltd, with L&Q Group, PH Warr, Durkan Ltd and Alan Conisbee & Associates.
CATEGORY 6: BEST BUILT PROJECT FIVE YEARS ON sponsored by GVA
For the depth of its community involvement, and the breadth of its sustained transformation, a Best Built Project Five Years On commendation goes to Stonebridge Estate Regeneration, Brent 1996-2008 submitted by Terrence O’Rourke Ltd, together with Hillside Housing Trust, Hyde Housing Group, Stonebridge Housing Action Trust, Shepheard Epstein Hunter, Countryside Properties Plc and the London Borough of Brent.
Shining as a robust beacon of artistic endeavour, the winner of the Best Built Project Five Years On award is The Roundhouse submitted by the London Borough of Camden, with John McAslan and Partners.
CATEGORY 7: BEST HISTORIC BUILDING MANAGEMENT sponsored by English
For its majestic, but sensitive, refurbishment of a highly complex group of listed buildings, the winner of the Best Historic Building Management award is Quadrant 3 submitted by the Crown Estate, with Dixon Jones, Donald Insall and Stanhope.
CATEGORY 8: BEST TOWN CENTRE PROJECT sponsored by Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners
With its exemplary and inspirational approach to inner city high street regeneration, the winner of our inaugural Best Town Centre Project award is Leyton Town Centre, Waltham Forest submitted by Waltham Forest Council, with Waltham Forest Business Board, Lee Valley Estates and Jan Kattein Architects.
CATEGORY 9: MAYOR’S PLANNING AWARD
WINNER for its dramatic transformation of east London and its spectacular showcasing of world-class planning, design and engineering skills, the Mayor's Award for Planning Excellence goes to London 2012 Olympic Park submitted by AECOM and the London Legacy Development Corporation, with the former ODA Planning Decisions Team and the AECOM-led consortium: LDA Design with Hargreaves Associates, Arup and Atkins.
CATEGORY 10: AWARD FOR SPECIAL CONTRIBUTION TO PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT OVER TEN YEARS
Responsible for his company's developments nationally in the 1990s, since 2001 he has jointly led the regeneration of one of the capital's largest and most complex development areas, a 'Greatest Contribution to Planning and Development over the Last 10 years' commendation goes to Argent's Roger Madelin.
For the Greatest Contribution to Planning and Development over the Last 10 years award goes to Sir Terry Farrell.
Notes to editors
Both the Mayor’s award for Planning Excellence and the award for best Best Conceptual Project were presented to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) Planning Decisions Team, the AECOM led consortium – LDA Design with Hargreaves Associates, Arup and Atkins.
The London Planning Award, now in their tenth year, are run jointly by The Mayor, London First, the RTPI and London Councils, and are open to non-members of London First and the RTPI. The judging panel was made up of representatives of:
The London Planning Awards, now in their tenth year, are run jointly by London First, The Mayor, the RTPI and London Councils, and are open to non-members of London First and the RTPI.
London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business.
The RTPI is the largest professional institute for planners in Europe, with over 23,000 members. As well as promoting spatial planning, RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built and natural environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development.
London Councils is committed to fighting for more resources for London and getting the best possible deal for London’s 33 councils.