The unique Olympic legacy project took the honours in the Landscape Architecture of the Year category at the 2018 AJ Architecture Awards.
The Awards, at The Roundhouse Camden London, recognise excellence in UK architecture across a range of categories, from school project of the year to housing project of the year.
Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park beat off competition from projects including Sky TV’s Campus, the City of Glasgow College’s Landscape and Public Realm and the Canal Corridor at Kings Cross. Other high-profile winners on the night included the BBC Television Centre and Bloomberg’s European Headquarters in London.
The judges described the winning project as an imaginative piece of landscape-first regeneration. They said: “The scheme features clever connectivity throughout the site which has already bought people into the area and delivered a highly sustainable slot-in infrastructure ready for the next wave of new development.”
The landscape and infrastructure works at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park were undertaken by Henry Boot Construction, with a project team including Turner and Townsend, Arup, Ares Landscape Architects and Amey. The works were funded through Sheffield City Region Infrastructure Fund and procured by Sheffield City Council.
Ben Handley, from Ares Landscape Architects, said: “Just to be shortlisted for this award was great recognition of the contribution that Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is making to the city and to delivering the legacy promised by the 2012 London Olympics. However to win is a fantastic boost to all concerned, putting the project well and truly on the map.
“Realising a project of this scale and ambition has required collaboration from the start. The original masterplan for the park was established by Bond Bryan Architects working with Legacy Park Ltd. Creating a place that promotes health and wellbeing was a key requirement of the masterplan.
“We saw an opportunity with the Landscape Architecture to meet this requirement by making a new park for the city, a park which reflects some of the most recognisable and well-loved characteristics of Sheffield’s landscape – hills, woods and water. We’ve worked with the River Stewardship Company and Friends of the Blue Loop to open up the Park to the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal.
“Access to high quality green space for the local community is a fundamental part of what has been achieved, along with ensuring the continuation of elite sport such as Sheffield Eagles RLFC and all the activities at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield.”
Former Minister for Sport and Project Lead for Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, Richard Caborn, said: “These awards recognise projects that are leading the way in architectural design, so we couldn’t be prouder to win.
“At Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, we’ve brought a number of organisations together to create a world-class space for people to work, learn and improve their health and wellbeing.
“The Lower Don Valley area was ripe for regeneration and Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is driving economic and social renaissance, offering improved education, development of new skills, additional job opportunities from the research centres, sports facilities and space for companies to grow.
“In addition to all this, we’ve prioritised green spaces, access to waterways, run routes, cycle paths and a synthetic cricket pitch to further regenerate this area of the city.”
Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is a London 2012 Olympic Legacy Project for health and wellbeing research and learning. The four legacy themes from London 2012 are sport, local community, environment and economic regeneration. Each of these themes are being delivered on Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.