The Olympic Park Legacy Company today invited architects, landscape architects, engineers and designers to create London’s newest public space, along with two visitor centres and a major new playground.

Teams have five weeks to come forward with expressions of interest to create two distinctive areas that will bring people together through a vibrant mix of cultural events, beautiful spaces and recreational uses when the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park opens in 2013.

The centrepiece will be major public space that will welcome crowds to the south plaza and Park. Sitting between the Aquatics Centre, the Stadium, the ArcelorMittal Orbit and the 2012 Gardens, this urban landscape will have a South Bank feel with plans for a visitor centre, outdoor events, water features and imaginative play facilities including a skate park.

The second area will be set within the stunning green river valley created for the 2012 Games. This new hub for the north park has the potential to include one of London’s best playgrounds and a visitor centre with a café and seating terrace, along with large indoor space for local schools and community groups.

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said:

“The south park will be London’s newest and most exciting public space, welcoming the world to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“With millions of people expected to visit the Park each year, this is a unique opportunity for design teams to create exceptional places that match the stunning mix of iconic venues and parkland that surround them.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

“London is home to some of the finest designers, architects and developers anywhere in the world and I am sure that they will relish the opportunity to take on the challenge of coming up with some truly inspiring visions for what will be a landmark project for East London.

“As part of my Great Outdoors project we have already seen £225 million invested into transforming our public spaces and the chance to play a key role in shaping the future of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is one that should not be missed.”

Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, said:

“When it opens, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be the largest new urban park anywhere in Europe. I want to see the very best designers come forward with plans to compliment the iconic sports buildings already evident on the Park and create a vibrant, exciting and sustainable new space.”

The two areas will be a key part of the Legacy Company’s plans to make the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park a unique visitor destination and a focal point for community activity.

The Legacy Company will be developing a rolling programme of activities and events both in its venues and open spaces for local, regional, national and international audiences. They will sit alongside the world-class venues that will remain after the Games, and five new neighbourhoods which will be developed on the Park over the next 20 years.

Interested parties have until 31st August 2011 to submit expressions of interest through a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire. The bids will then be reviewed and a shortlist of entrants will be asked to produce a concept design in the autumn.

Shortlisted designs will go on display to the public before an expert panel will decide the winners at the end of the year.