Case Studies

London, Stratford City


Project Director
Tim Stonor

Arup, Fletcher Priest, West 8

Chelsfield, London & Continental Railways, Stanhope

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Early sketch of the new layout concept for Stratford City, London

"Thank you very much for organising last night's talks. Your speakers were excellent and generated discussion until our heads hit the pillow....really well content-ed and presented talks. I am so cheesed off with the rounds of rubbish, 10-minute wonder powerpoints that are called CPD these days - your balanced event was very refreshing and challenging, more like a symposium."

Attendee at an "OpenSpace" event at Space Syntax's London studio

The problem

Stratford City is a massive, £3bn development covering 73 hectares around the new international station at Stratford, East London. In 2002, the development consortium – Chelsfield PLC, Stanhope PLC and London & Continental Railways – asked us to test the effectiveness of their masterplan – and to suggest changes wherever necessary.

Our contribution

We found that the proposed development would be insufficiently connected to the surrounding urban context and would lack a ‘sense of place’. To remedy this, we refocused the design strategy around a new, sinuous urban ‘spine’, connecting Stratford City to Old Stratford town centre in the south and the Lea Valley to the north.

Through sketching, movement forecasting, 3D visualisation and workshop sessions, we worked with the development team to translate the spine concept into a new masterplan with layouts for the commercial, residential and retail quarters of the development.

The outcome

Our input helped the development consortium manage the complexity of the design and planning process and gave our clients greater confidence in the masterplan.

The development was granted planning permission by the London Borough of Newham in September 2004 and was approved by the Mayor of London and the Government Office for London in October 2004. The masterplan was then used as the basis for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games masterplan.

See also:

London Olympic Park – Transformation Phase

London Olympic Park – Legacy Phase