In 18 months, the London Legacy Development Corporation has led the transformation of the former Olympic Park into London’s newest Park with beautiful parklands and waterways, world-class sporting venues, arts and events.
The south of the Park, designed by James Corner Field Operations, who created the High Line in New York, features:
• A new tree-lined promenade with 100 trees strung with a unique globe lighting system.
• Interactive water fountains and an action packed adventure playground.
• Four themed walking trails explore the key sights of the London 2012 Games, the Park’s
biodiversity, family fun on the Park and arts and culture.
From the 114.5m tall ArcelorMittal Orbit, visitors will be able to experience a totally new perspective of London and unrivalled views of the Park. With two spacious viewing platforms at 76 and 80 metres high, visitors can see over 20 miles across London and newly installed interactive technology that will enable guests to get close up to the breathtaking views. It will act as an attraction as well as an event space, with two viewing platforms, the highest offering 360 degree views across the city.
At the base of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, visitors will be able to relax in The Podium. It boasts a versatile events space, EastTwenty Bar & Kitchen and roof top terrace with fabulous views of the iconic venues.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “The opening of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park marks an historic chapter in London’s post-Olympic story. Our city’s newest park is crammed with spectacular attractions and activities set in acres of stunning green spaces. This is now a must-see destination for Londoners and visitors alike and forms a glittering centrepiece for our ambitious regeneration plans in Stratford and beyond.”
Dennis Hone, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “In the 18 months since the end of the Paralympics, we have created a magnificent new Park for London with beautiful parklands and waterways and world-class sporting facilities. We want people to come and enjoy this new destination, whether they are reliving the memories of the golden summer of 2012 or experiencing it for the first time.
“The opening of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is not the end of the transformation story. We are building a new heart of east London creating jobs, building new homes, and bringing in investment, culture and education with partners like the Victoria and Albert Museum and University College London. It is a truly exciting time and we encourage people to come and see Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for themselves.”
Vicky Martin, ArcelorMittal Orbit General Manager, said: “We’re really excited to be reopening the ArcelorMittal Orbit and welcoming visitors to experience a new perspective of London. The ArcelorMittal Orbit was an icon of the London 2012 Games and we’re thrilled that people will once again be able to admire the views into the city and over the Park. We are also proud that we are able to showcase local produce in the EastTwenty Bar & Kitchen, local crafts in our gift shop and to contribute to the regeneration of east London.”
More than a million visitors have already enjoyed the Park since it began to open in July 2013 with concerts and the Anniversary Games. The Copper Box Arena was the first former Olympic and Paralympic venue to open to the public and has already had more than 100,000 visitors and hosted a series of events. This success continued with the opening of the iconic London Aquatics Centre on 1 March, which has already had over 55,000 visitors, and Lee Valley VeloPark which opened its doors for public use for the first time this week (31 March).
• The Lee Valley VeloPark (containing the former Olympic Velodrome) will be the first place in the world where you can enjoy Track cycling, road racing, BMX or mountain biking in one place. The venue offers opportunities for incentive events on the former Olympic and Paralympic track and provides a stunning backdrop for events ranging from exhibitions to gala dinners.
• Designed by architect Zaha Hadid, the Aquatics Centre offers a truly unique events space for private functions. Overlooking the competition and diving pools, the space can be tailored to accommodate individual planner’s needs, with the floor of the pools designed to be lifted and lowered as required.
• The Copper Box Arena, is one of London’s most flexible indoor venues, with a central auditorium including retractable seating, allowing for a wide range of different sports, concerts, conferences and exhibitions. It also offers smaller studio spaces for intimate events.
Talking about the Park Tracy Halliwell, Director of Business Tourism and Major Events at London & Partners, said: “Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a stunning new events destination for London and we’re thrilled to see the venues on the Park open their doors. The Park itself is a fantastic new landmark for London and the venues within it are truly iconic and provide an inspirational backdrop for both business events and incentive travel.”
Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre will open in June 2014 and will boast four indoor and six outdoor tennis courts, as well as two of the best hockey pitches in the country. These facilities can be used by both the local community and elite players in international tournaments such as the Investec London Cup 2014, the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters 2014-2016 and the European Hockey Championships 2015.
Work is also underway to transform the Stadium in to a multi-use venue. It will be the permanent home of West Ham United Football Club from 2016 and the new national competition stadium for athletics in the UK. The venue will host five matches as part of the Rugby World Cup 2015 and the 2017 IAAF World Championships and 2017 IPC World Athletics Championships.
A major new arts and cultural centre has been announced, working with University College London and Victoria and Albert Museum. The Mayor of London and the Chancellor, together with the London Legacy Development Corporation, have agreed to work together on ambitious plans that would potentially see two world class institutions build new sites adjacent to the Stratford waterfront, on land between the Stadium and Stratford station. It’s projected that the cumulative effect of these plans will generate an extra 10,000 jobs in the Park.