Derelict Docks in London Will be Transformed into "Pleasure Gardens" for the 2012 Olympics

london's pleasure gardens/Promo image

London's 2012 Olympics are taking part in the east end of the city. One of the goals, and benefits, of the Games is the regeneration of this dingy, post-industrial, poor area: Housing, infrastructure, and new parks are now under development.

The newest park to be announced is the Pleasure Gardens. Derelict docks will be transformed into a 60,000 square meter waterfront park with wild and formal gardens, restaurants, cafes, art and cultural activities.

It's all part of the 2012 Olympic celebrations. Because of its location, close to the ExCel centre where the awards ceremonies will be taking place, 40,000 people a day are expected to pass through the area. During the Games it will be a cultural destination with non-stop entertainment for families, locals and tourists.

london's pleasure gardens/Promo image

A festive atmosphere will be created with bands, outdoor acrobats, artwork and sculpture gardens. The east end of London, because of low rents, has a huge artistic community which is cutting edge, community-based and very sophisticated.

There will also be the wild meadows -- wild flowers, sweet peas, and blackberries that have been left to grow for the past fifty years on the docks.

One organizer said: "What that site gives you is a real journey from being inside a stark industrial city, to suddenly being in the country. There's a real sense of travelling to different landscapes."

The brownfield site was chosen for development as part of the Meanwhile London competition. It is hoped that the short-term development of the park into a thriving centre will serve as a magnet to attract new buildings and kick-start the regeneration of this area.

london's pleasure gardens/Promo image

Pleasure Gardens were a Victorian creation. They were "summertime places where people from all walks of life could come together to listen to music, admire paintings, stroll, drink, flirt and immerse themselves in the culture that defined the vibrant period."

Between 1851 and 1884 there was one located at the very spot of the new one, called the Royal Victoria Gardens

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0 August, 2012

NEWS UPDATE: The Pleasure Gardens are now in administration and closed down for the time being.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0 August, 2012

They were plagued by problems from the opening, with far fewer patrons than anticipated coming to the venue.

Tags: Architecture | Forestry | Olympics

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