Lea Valley Gateway Project

Lea Valley Gateway Project
London, England UK
Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland UK
Masters of Landscape Architecture: Major Design Project, Spring 2011

  • Type Illustration, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Sustainability, Biodiversity, Digital, London, Thames River, Lea Valley, Graphic Design, Mapping, Cybernetics

Regional Landscape Strategy Map of Lea Valley Regional Park and the Gateway Project.


For the 2012 Olympics the LVRP is looking to extend the green space which currently terminates at the Hackney Marshes and Tidal Mills towards the mouth of the Lea Valley at the Thames River where the Site is. The urban sector which the Site sits within ranges from the mouth of the river to Tidal Mills Studios, which is the tidal head of the Thames. It is within this zone there is a mix of salt and fresh water- allowing a tremendous opportunity harness renewable Blue Energy. This zone is also currently an industrial derelict district, but has much potential for urban renewal. The industrial urban fabric will lend easily to this renewable energy enterprise. Strategically, the Site also sits within the Green Enterprise District, a proposal launched by the Mayor of London in 2010; additionally, it sits within the Digital Enterprise District, a proposal launched again by the Mayor in February of 2011. Hence, the Gateway Project fuses all of these strategies to best use the natural, social, urban, and economic resources the Site and it's Sector has to offer.

Urban Strategy/Analysis Map and Exploded Axonometric of Urban Layers and new proposal.


Starting at Trinity Buoy Wharf at the Leamouth, and ending at Three Mills Studios, the tidal head of the salt water from the Thames River, fresh and salt water is harnessed from these book ends and mixed at the brownfield site in the middle for Blue Energy. This district will become a renewable energy district. Over time, the energy gained and sold to the Grid will benefit the communities surrounding the Sector, and eventually remove it from the grid. There are also current strategies for new and improved housing within this industrial fabric, and plans by the LVRP to restore the greenscape and clean the water within the valley. The intention for the Gateway is to use the energy to support the events and digital practices which occur within the park, while providing higher levels of biodiversity within it's 4-Stage development process. By bridging, or "Stitching" the east and west sides of the river, the act will improve the communication of the academic institutions on both sides. The anchor points throughout the map indicate the various artistic, digital, technological, industrial, and community practices around the Sector. These anchor points are potential actors and agents which could directly and indirectly support the Gateway Project and the urban renewal strategies.

Master Plan (more information about this graphic coming soon...)

Site Sample Sections (more sections and information about this graphic coming soon...)

+5 Level Detail Plan (Upper Levels and more information about this graphic coming soon...)

Typical Decking Detail Section (more information about this graphic coming soon...)

Scenario of how to curate the Site: Curated by Trinity Buoy Wharf (more information about this graphic coming soon...)

Vignette Sketches (more information about this graphic coming soon...)

Timescale Chart: Evolution of Urban Landscape and the Actors/Agents involved in it's development.


The Site is to be developed in 4 Stages.


Stage 0 indicates the existing conditions and the elements which are to be utilized for improvement, weathering, and growth.


Stage 1 reveals the installation of boardwalks "stitching" the edges, and the removal of concrete and asphalt top-layers, revealing soil which nature can re-claim. The creation of a "Rain/Tidal Pond" is created at the neck of the Leamouth Peninsula, and the sheet metal of the canalized walls are perforated, allowing water to pour through during high tide. This helps to jump-start new biodiversity. In addition to these layers, Pylons with Information Technology surfacing are installed and wired to the Internet, monitoring changes in biodiversity, social activity, uses, festivals, etc. This information is accessible to the general public and especially valuable for the local Councils and Building Industries. Simultaneously, websites or live feedback loops accessible via internet and wireless devices are constantly updated, similar to Facebook or Google +

Stage 2 reveals the de-canalization of the edges at the Leamouth Peninsula, further allowing nature to take over and the erosion of soil will gradually form a semi-oxbow lake. Since the Site is also tidal, the leg closest to the Thames will not build up with sediment completely, but rather will become a shallow tidal zone, friendly to birds, low-side plants, worms, and shellfish.

Stage 3: By this time, the soil will have acreted slowly but also ensuring stability in sediments and the restoration of the original marshland. New mosaic woodland will slowly make its way to the new landscape on the leg of the meander furthest from the Thames River, and into the peninsula. The water at the "Oxbow" will also be shallower, and deeper at the neck of the former peninsula. At the bow, low bridges are installed as the urban context grows in density, demanding more flow into the Site.

Stage 4: The Information Technology layer which has been installed in Stage 1 will have continued to evolve as well as the landscape. Research by Coca Cola and other digital enterprises within the Lea Valley will by this time have invested and installed new digital methods of interaction. As a scenario, touch and motion-sensitive, holographic projections are illustrated along with the touch/motion/temperature-sensitive pylons. This encourages a closer interface between the digital and physical landscapes. Finally, as the IT layer is evolving, so is Nature; by this time, the new Mosaic Woodland will be more mature, as well as the biodiversity levels and the restored marshland. By bringing nature closer to the actors and agents using the Site, the result will be the cultural growth of "Biophilia", the interdependence between humans and nature- a new understanding and responsibility for one's environment.

Bird Sanctuary 2: Restored Marshland at the Lea Mouth