Stratford Olympic Village
We were the ecological designers for the Athletes’ Village, Stratford, London, UK - which was built to provide the accommodation for athletes competing at the 2012 London Olympic Games. This was from the outset designed as a legacy project for future use as a new urban area of east London, which has delivered ca. 3000 new homes, new food and beverage outlets, over 10 ha of open space, an education academy and other local facilities.
We produced a biodiversity and ecosystem services strategy at the concept design stage, not only for the Public Realm but also for the built form, to ensure that biodiversity permeated from an ecologically restored river corridor, through the public realm into urban courtyards and up onto living (green) roofs across the development. Working with the landscape architects and other designers, an ecologically informed and multifunctional landscape design emerged, especially sophisticated in its treatment of rainwater runoff, rainwater storage and reuse, using a multi-habitat wetland design. We also helped to develop bespoke substrate mixes to support the 1.2 hectares of living roof, seeded and planted to create a range of semi-natural habitat analogues.
Innovation in approach to urban landscape throughout underpinned a project aspiration to achieve maximum scores for ecology under the Code for Sustainable Homes. The company also led on the production of a very detailed long-term estate management plan for the site and provided the ecological content for all environmental signage. Work was done to schedule (non-negotiable opening of the Village for the Olympics) and to budget.
We also undertook the role of ecological clerk of works through construction of the landscape, entailing multiple visits, site liaison and reporting over more than a year. Our involvement in what is now known as ‘East Village’ has continued as we undertake annual monitoring of target species groups (including all higher and lower plants, invertebrates and birds) and management actions.
We developed a number of interventions to maximise opportunities for biodiversity throughout the village. Examples include:
- 1.2 ha of living (green) roofs over all development plots designed as analogues of valued semi-natural habitats;
- a biodiverse multi-habitat water treatment and storage wetland, from which water is recycled for re-use in the Chobham Academy and landscape irrigation;
- both standard and bespoke faunal refuges;
- species-rich flowering amenity lawns; and
- innovative woodland turf installed at the time of tree planting.
Design Team Leader
Fletcher Priest, Patel Taylor, Nial Mclaughlin
Vogt, Applied Landscape Design
Water Quality Scientist
Tim O'Hare Associates
Gold in the London Planning Awards 2014 in the ‘Mayor's Award for Planning Excellence’ and ‘Best New Place to Live in London’ categories.
‘Highly Commended’ in the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management Planning Awards 2014 in the following categories: ‘Innovation’, ‘Practical Nature Conservation’ and ‘Public Engagement’.
Civic Trust Award 2014
RESI Conference 2014: 'Development of the Year' and 2016: 'Development of the Decade'
'The London Olympics consciously set out to build nature into the overall design …. The Olympic Village is fringed with wetland and wet woodlands, topped up with water from the roof-tops …. The wetlands are a magnet for wildlife' -
What Has Nature Ever Done For Us? How Money Really Does Grow On Trees by Tony Juniper