In densely populated cities around the world, outdoor rooms are rarely considered.
The notion of outdoor doors relates to creating fun and inspiring spaces where people can relax and enjoy their surrounds.
That changed to a degree with the development of New York’s High Line, which stands as one of the most popular and acclaimed industrial reclamation and parkland projects to date. Designed by a team that included James Corner and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the redevelopment of New York City’s abandoned High Line rail line into a series of parkland spaces and outdoor rooms has not only brought the city a new character, appeal and icon, but it has also spawned from it a series of other reclamation parkland initiatives.
This includes the Low Line development, a sister project that involves creating community space underneath the city of New York. The London Landscape Institute’s London High Line competition winner, the ‘Pop Down‘ Concept by Fletcher Priest Architects, recently became the latest planned development in the growing trend of outdoor rooms.
Now, the landscape architect behind the project that started it all believes London’s Olympic Park South end could be home to the same kind of success found in New York.
James Corner spoke to the Guardian about plans to develop a series of ‘outdoor rooms’ at the iconic location as a way to further elaborate on the sense of community created and built upon throughout this year’s events.
Plans are said to include various outdoor activity-based attractions such as an outdoor theatre, music space and labyrinth fountain.
“The south park was always intended to be more actively programmed,” says Corner. “It’s conceived of as a place that will be actively programmed so there’s something on every week – a food festival, a concert, an art show.”
High Line co-founder Robert Hammond recently remarked on the success of the New York space, saying the way these developments are almost ‘knitted into the city’ makes them much easier accepted and a part of the urban fold.
Corner notes that the nature of the space will change to be far more activity focused given the magnitude of the space.
“The High Line is enmeshed in the city and is quite narrow and linear.” says Corner. “The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is quite an intensive landscape in transformation and is a much bigger area.”
While the concept could offer a dramatic new outdoor flavour to the city, the London Legacy Development Corporation will wait until closer to the opening date before releasing details regarding the development decision.