Swiss practice tour Olympic Park with James Hitchmough

Husler and Associates at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Department of Landscape has welcomed Swiss Landscape Architects Hüsler and Associates to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to give them a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the site and explain its transformation since the Department’s memorable planting schemes in 2012.

Head of Department Professor James Hitchmough met all 14 members of the Swiss company on Thursday 15th June.

The team visited both the South Park hub and the meadow areas in the North Park, ending up at the Olympic rings for a photoshoot. The visit was to get a better understanding of the behind the scenes planning, design and management activities from 2008 that led to the current day landscape of the park.

James said: “The park was looking excellent, and was heavily used even on a midweek day. I was particularly pleased to see the various meadows in the park looking so good. We stood on the bridge in the North Park over the river and marvelled that the Elysian scene of wetlands, woodlands and meadows, a completely designed and constructed landscape less that 10 years old; huge testiment to the skills of Landscape Architecture. My Swiss colleagues were hugely impressed by the scale and ambition of the gardens and herbaceous and meadow vegetation in general.”

Hüsler and Associates are a multidisciplinary practice based in Lausanne, Switzerland, who work across a range of scales and whose projects include regional planning, public space and private gardens.

James Hitchmough (centre) with the Swiss practice Husler and Associates at the Olympic Park

The London Olympic Park was one of the Department of Landscape’s most high profile projects. Professors Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough were appointed as the principal planting design and horticultural consultants for the project in 2008.

Along with Sarah Price they created eye-catching flower displays, which were seen by over 6 million visitors who came to the park during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Since 2012, the site has been transformed by LDA Design Associates to establish an exemplary 21st-century sustainable park.

The new Pleasure Gardens in the south of the Park feature prairie style planting from the world-renowned designer Piet Oudolf, while Mandeville Place features an urban orchard with its very own species of apple, the Paradice.