International Quarter London
London, United Kingdom | 2015-
Located at the gateway to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, International Quarter London is one of London’s largest new mixed-use developments. Gustafson Porter + Bowman is designing the public realm and outdoor spaces for the development from concept through to construction, working closely in collaboration with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Buro Happold, Green Infrastructure Consultancy, AECOM and GIA Equation. Our designs for Endeavour Square, Redman Place, and the Biodiversity Wall bring an abundance of green space to the scheme and create a healthier place where people want to work and visit.
Endeavour Square is the central civic space for the first phase of the development and will be the focus and orientation space for visitors arriving from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford City and the new Culture and Education District. Our design for Endeavour Square is inspired by the railway lines seen in historical maps of the area. We have reinterpreted these as lines of movement around the rectangular shapes of the buildings, in the same way that they would have once led towards industrial buildings. These lines gently curve to suggest the main desire and movement lines which connect Westfield Avenue with the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and along the Olympic Promenade to Redman Place.
Endeavour Square is approached from Westfield Avenue through an alley of Oak trees and is activated by three diamond-shaped water features which will engage visitors and reflect the buildings, sky, surrounding planting, and a new pavilion. The water feature sits flush with the surrounding paving to allow for greater flexibility of the space. It is programmed to allow for several settings; from completely dry to the animated choreography of jets. The water features are directed toward ‘The International Pavilion’ which frames the western corner of the Square. Their positioning directs people in to the centre of the Square, where the planted spaces of Carpenter’s Gardens provide the pedestrian link between Endeavour Square and Redman Place. Altogether, the design aims to create an engaging space which has the flexibility to cater for several events such as concerts, outdoor theatre, and pop-up events. Integrated art in the paving pattern will create an element of public art.
Finally, our work includes one of the largest green walls in the UK. Running along the Woolwich railway line, a 300m long textured concrete biodiversity wall defines the Southwestern edge of the site. Its textured surface allows for self-clinging plants to colonise the wall and encourage biodiversity. These native plants will attract birds, pollinators and insects and are supplemented by more than 50 bird and bat boxes. The strategy has been developed in partnership with ecologist Gary Grant and introduces several native species to the site, thus reinforcing ecological corridors along the Lea River Valley. Wild flower planting is also proposed along the railway line, which will further attract the wildlife and support the biodiversity of the area.