Drapers Field, London, United Kingdom
Kinnear Landscape Architects

Strategically, Leyton is a key regeneration area bridging the existing east London communities, the new East Village (formerly the Athlete’s Village) and the Olympic Park. Drapers Field sits at this intersection of new and old, and is part of a series of projects on the fringe of the Olympics which have responded to London Legacy Development Corporation’s ‘Stitching the Fringe’.

In this context it was critical to understand Drapers Field’s importance to developing and established communities and to respond accordingly to the changing influences, pressures and desire lines on the space. Also key to the brief is the Wider Olympic Legacy. A legacy that encourages children and young people into, not only formal sport, but more active and healthy lives. 

In response to this Wider Olympic Legacy Drapers Field was developed as piece of ‘Playful Urban Realm’. This idea was realised through the grass waves which stretch across the width of the park. This corrugated grass landscape gives the Drapers a base plane with intrinsic play value. Upon this base are placed elements including climbing structures water play and a matrix of new trees which together create a series of playful opportunities, and varying spatial qualities. 

Key strategic moves in responding to the sites changing context involved relocating sports facilities to open up the façade of the existing pavilion to the park; and to facilitate a key desire line to the neighboring and recently completed Chobham Academy.

Connecting Chobham Academy to the existing community through ‘The walk to School’ includes a bike track with space for obstacles and for basic bike skills courses. This relates to the London Cycling Campaign’s drive for safe cycling routes to schools and to GLA objectives. Cutting through the corrugated grass plane it also encourages spontaneous activity with Trampolines and other play elements located along its route.

The project completed in June 2014.

 

 

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