12 December 2011

Greenwich Students Win Wood Wharf Design Competition

Two first year landscape architecture students from the University of Greenwich have upstaged the country’s best young design talent by winning a competition for one of London’s most prestigious development sites.

Alick Nee and Danny Mitchell won a competition run by the Landscape Institute, Canary Wharf Group and Townshend Landscape Architects to design event facilities at Wood Wharf, immediately to the east of Canary Wharf in central London.

The competition attracted 120 registrations from around the country. It asked students for design ideas for the temporary use of the space for a range of events in the lead up to and during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer.

The winning students’ design featured the ‘Great British Summer’ theme, with a meadow of British wild flowers divided by walking paths in the shape of the Union Jack, plant life to give a ‘green’ backing for structures such as big screens and large windsocks and umbrellas to ‘celebrate’ the great British summer’s wind and rain.

The winning team will receive £3,000 provided by Canary Wharf Group and will each undertake month long internships at Townshend Landscape Architects.

Robert Townshend from Townshend Landscape Architects said “The nine finalists produced some thought provoking schemes which demonstrated the strength in-depth among landscape students across all the Universities. There were a number of great responses to the brief, and I was delighted with the way the students developed such a diversity of ideas to meet the demands of a challenging brief. Thanks must also go to Canary Wharf Group for giving this opportunity to the landscape profession.”

Stephen Andrews, Project Design Executive at Canary Wharf Group said: “It was great that the winning students produced this level of quality, and that they had some really thought provoking ideas. We are working on ways to integrate some of these ideas into our own designs for the Wood Wharf space. All the judges were bowled over by the fact that the winners were first year students and, entirely appropriately, local to Canary Wharf, despite neither factor being relevant to the judges’ decision. It seems the future of the landscape architecture profession is in good hands.”

Alastair McCapra, Chief Executive of the Landscape Institute, said: “This competition highlights the exceptional talent coming up the ranks in the landscape architecture profession. Alick Nee and Danny Mitchell have come up with a very exciting concept. Their creativity demonstrates the kind of inspiring contribution landscape architects can make in creating beautiful public spaces.”

The judges awarded second place to a team of five Masters students from the University of Sheffield, who receive £1,000 between them. Sheffield University also won the University prize of a further £500. Canary Wharf Group decided that the further seven short listed entries merited recognition and so awarded them a further £500 each. An exhibition of 14 entries will be on display at Canary Wharf next summer. All of those short listed will also be featured in the January edition of Landscape, the journal of the Landscape Institute.

For further information, please contact:

Hamish McDougall
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: 020 7418 2326
M: 07779 888 075

Notes to Editor:

About Wood Wharf
The Wood Wharf site is owned by the Wood Wharf Partnership, a joint venture owned by British Waterways (50%), Ballymore (25%) and Canary Wharf Group plc (25%). Canary Wharf Group has leased the space from Wood Wharf Partnership for use for events in 2012.
In 2008 Wood Wharf received outline planning permission for 4.9m square feet of office space, over 1,600 new homes and a new shopping area. Wood Wharf is currently a mixture of old warehouses, most of which are empty, and cleared sites.
Wood Wharf is three minutes walk to Canary Wharf, which is home to more than 200 shops, bars and restaurants and many of the world’s leading companies employing over 100,000 people.

About Canary Wharf Group plc

Canary Wharf Group has achieved one of the greatest feats of civic transformation – an iconic urban regeneration, designing and constructing over 15 million square feet of office and retail space across its 97 acre East London Estate.

There are more than 200 shops, bars and restaurants at Canary Wharf. Recent fashion openings include Tiffany & Co., Jaeger and Hackett. Seven new bars and restaurants have opened in the past 18 months to critical acclaim, creating over 400 jobs.

Canary Wharf’s world-class Arts & Events programme includes over 100 events each year.
20% of the Estate is landscaped parks, plazas and walkways with over 1,000 trees, 88 floral species and each year 70,000 seasonal plants are planted.

Canary Wharf also has one of Britain’s highest concentrations of ‘green’ roofs, reducing energy use and encouraging biodiversity. CWG has been named one of the Sunday Times Best Green Companies in Britain for the past three years.

95,000 people work at Canary Wharf, with the population projected to double by 2025.
Canary Wharf Group is backing Tower Hamlets bid to become the UK’s next city, as part of HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.
Canary Wharf Group plc (CWG) is an integrated property development, investment and management group of companies.
Twitter: @yourcanarywharf

About the Landscape Institute

The Landscape Institute is the royal chartered body for landscape architects. It is a professional organisation and educational charity working to protect, conserve and enhance the natural and built environment for the public benefit. It accredits university courses and promotes professional development to ensure that landscape architects deliver the highest standards of practice. It works with government to improve the planning, design and management of urban and rural landscape.

Through its advocacy programmes and support to its members it champions landscape, and the landscape profession, in order to inspire great places where people want to live, work and visit.

Visit for more information or follow the Institute on twitter: @talklandscape

For further press information please contact Sarah Harrison, on behalf of the Landscape Institute, on 07768 372892 or email