We Made That with Free Play Announced as the Winners of 3 Mills Competition

A team comprising We Made That and Free Play have been chosen as the winner of the Three Mills Green Play-space competition, which sought proposals for designs for a new play-space located near the Olympic Park in the borough of Newham, East London.

We Made That and Free Play were selected from a shortlist of four teams, following an open call for expressions of interest, which yielded over 60 entries from practices and design teams from around the world. The other shortlisted teams were erect architecture, Kinnear Landscape Architects, and Studio Weave with Wayward Plants.

The competition was organised by The Architecture Foundation on behalf of a collaborative partnership comprising The Legacy List charity, the Olympic Park Legacy Company, and the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (who own Three Mills Green, a key part of the 10,000 acre Lee Valley Regional Park). The winning proposals will be revealed at The Legacy List launch event this Monday 26 September 2011, with elements from the proposal forming some of the lots in an innovative fund-raising process, which will last through until an auction to raise funds for the playspace on 2 November 2011.

“We are delighted that this playspace will be our first tangible project outside the Olympic Park, for the benefit of East London before the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  It is the beginning of making those creative connections between people and the park that The Legacy List will be enabling both now and in the future. The winning entry had a combination of a clear and imaginative vision plus a down-to-earth approach of great relevance to the site. The playspace will not only respect and reflect the history of this area and be a great space for adults and children now, but also leaves the opportunity to develop for a changing landscape in the future.” - Sarah Weir, Jury Chair and Chief Executive of The Legacy List.


The winning team was selected primarily on the basis of the strength of the concept and the deliverability and achievability of the proposal. The scheme combines a variety of structures, spaces and activities that bring together a sense of unexpected adventure, imaginative seasonal change and a thoughtful response to the newly created landscape at Three Mills Green. We Made That & Free Play will now be asked to develop their proposal to RIBA Stage D, with a view to commencing construction in the spring of 2012.

“We were impressed by the winner’s overall vision in creating a flexible play space for children, families and people of all ages to enjoy.  We want there to be thriving communities both inside and outside the Park and Three Mills Green is a great example of how organisations can work together to achieve it.”   - Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company

Entries were judged by a high-profile jury including Neil Porter, Director, Gustafson Porter; Sarah Weir, Chief Executive, The Legacy List; Eleanor Fawcett Head of Design, OPLC; Rob Cairns, Head of Environmental Design, LVRPA; Sharon Cox, Early Intervention, Play Manager, LB Newham; and play expert Tim Gill, Writer/Researcher, Rethinking Childhood. 

“The winning team did a great job of defining Three Mills Green as a place that, through its play territory, can reflect the odd juxtapositions of the varied urban and natural territories of its surroundings.  We Made That and Free Play's play territories and equipment will combine both organic and well-crafted forms in odd relationships, with the intention of creating imaginative responses from local children and the communities surrounding the park. I look forward to the results!”  - Neil Porter, Director, Gustafson-Porter

“Today more than ever, London's children need places where they can explore, imagine, have adventures and discover the everyday wonders of nature. Places where they can test themselves, lose themselves, and in doing so, find themselves. With its simple, yet subtle mix of the playful and the wild, the winning scheme pays full respect to children's unquenchable appetite for experience. It is set to transform Three Mills Green into a truly magical place for people of all ages, residents and visitors alike.”   - Tim Gill, Writer/Researcher, Rethinking Childhood

For further information, please visit www.architecturefoundation.org.uk/programme/2011/design-competition-three-mills-play-space