Tumbling Bay, Olympic Park North
Tumbling Bay is the award-winning playscape in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – a key legacy of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
The water feature at Tumbling Bay takes its inspiration from the nearby River Lea, mirroring the journey of the river and beautifully connecting the park to its wider natural environment.
The source is set within a naturally planted river valley. Children hand pump the water into a series of shallow pools and tributaries lined with pebbles and fine gravel. From here, the water flows into a canal system, where budding engineers can direct the flow, becoming masters of dams and locks. On a warm summer’s day, Tumbling Bay is alive with kids playing with the water, splashing and paddling in the shallow pools and “mudlarking” in the sand and pebbles.
- Location: Stratford, London
- Client: London Legacy Development Corporation
- Services: Design, build, management
- Features: Water play, water dams, pumps, water rills
- Partners: LUC, Lazenby Contracts, Frosts Landscapes
Artist, Mel Chantrey, designed this low-maintenance feature to convey the message that water is a precious and valuable resource. The source is limited and children need to work hard to activate the supply.
The feature caters for a wide range of ability and mobility levels. The different stages create a variety of experiences, and the opportunity to try something new on each visit.
In 2014, Tumbling Bay became an award-winning space when it was recognised by the Landscape Institute for its innovative approach to play.
The park is designed in collaboration with LUC, whose team was led by Jennette Emery-Wallis.