“Limehouse Leisure”: video project based on the Limehouse Cut, London

The video “Limehouse Leisure”,  created by Matt Parker whilst studying on the Post Graduate Diploma, Landscape Architecture at Kingston University, presents the idea of transforming a strip of neglected industrial canal, located in one of the most deprived areas of the UK, into an all-encompassing leisure facility for the local community and beyond.  The project describes how open-air gymnasiums, areas for exercise classes, team sports, solo pursuits, watersports and a host of leisure activities could all be created by using existing infrastructure.

The video was developed as part of a taught module – a project based on the neighbouring landscape of the Limehouse Cut in east London.  At the time the project was devised the Olympic Park area was in the early stages of development and the video was as a response to the Olympic Park’s 3 meter high fencing enclosing the site in Stratford, East London –  cutting the evolving Olympic Park off from the local community.  Matt wanted to create a community based sports facility to encourage exercise and fitness in an area of deprivation with its links to obesity.

One of the key ambitions of the Olympic is to leave behind a legacy of sport and fitness for generations to come and at the time of the video’s development in 2008 it was very unclear how this ambition was going to be achieved locally.  The community felt removed from the 2012 Olympic Games, was shut out from planning and lacked a ‘voice’ in how the local landscape was being changed

“Limehouse Leisure” was created by Matt Parker whilst studying on the Post Graduate Diploma, Landscape Architecture at Kingston University. Matt has taught as a visiting Landscape Architecture lecturer at Kingston University and is a Director of Room60  – Visual Communication and Design Studio for the Built Environment.


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