Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

London, United Kingdom

London Legacy Development Corporation


Executive Lighting Designer
Michael Grubb Studio

Landscape Architects
James Corner Field Operations


Main Contractor


Award of Merit, IALD Awards, 2015

Award of Merit, IES Awards, 2015

Outstanding Achievement, AL Light & Architecture Design Awards, 2015
Arts and Education

Architecture + Environment

Our enchanting and immersive experience in light opened in 2014, in the southern part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. As part of the competition winning team led by James Corner Field Operations (JCFO) and MAKE, our lighting design supports the joyful character of the park design, as well as ensuring that users feel safe and secure, and can continue to use the facilities of the park as natural light fades.

The centrepiece of our approach is the unique catenary system for the Promenade - the main navigation route that stretches from Orbit Plaza, home to the ArcelorMittal Orbit, through to Carpenters Lock.

We created a dappled effect on the path, emitted from ethereal moon-like spheres suspended over the pathway, and framed by gently highlighted tree canopies on each side. The interior of each sphere is painted with a colour that gradually shifts in shades from blue to green over the length of the promenade – creating a sense of depth of field and lending aerial perspective to the vista.

For us, the effect is reminiscent of light filtering through a forest canopy, and has an engaging and playful character, animating people with light and dark as they stroll along the pathway.

We lit routes, hubs, and open spaces for safety and sense of security, adding highlights to fun elements such as swing seats and abacus ladders, improving legibility, and assisting wayfinding. Where possible, we designed in the re-use of lighting elements from Games time, knitting these seamlessly into the park infrastructure.

Our solution was fully detailed to ‘Employer’s Requirements’ stage. Following the tender process, appointed contractor SKANSKA selected Michael Grubb Studio as the lighting designers that delivered the scheme.

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