By Emily Goddard

John Hopkins 300113January 30 - John Hopkins, the landscape architect who led the creation of the much-celebrated London 2012 Olympic parklands, has died suddenly at the age of 59.

Former colleagues of the visionary designer (pictured top) have paid homage to his globally acclaimed work, which included the transformation of more than 250 acres of green space on the Olympic Park between 2007 and 2011.

Sir John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), led the tributes to the award-winning architect.

"We are all shocked by the sad news of John Hopkins' passing," he said.

"He was pivotal in shaping and then delivering our vision of an important new park transforming this part of London.

"So many people delighted in seeing the parklands and public open spaces last summer – which will now be an enduring legacy of John's work.

"Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this sad time."

John Hopkins team developed more than 250 acres of green space in the parkJohn Hopkins developed more than 250 acres of green space in the London 2012 Olympic Park

Before joining the ODA in 2007, Hopkins had been a partner at LDA Design and worked around the globe in public and private practice in Malaysia, Australia and Hong Kong.

After his work on the Olympic parklands project, he moved to America, lecturing at both the University of Pennsylvania and University of Greenwich in London, as well completing a study for Network Rail's landscape management strategy.

Dennis Hone, chief executive of the ODA and London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), also paid his respects.

"John's contribution towards the creation of the UK's largest new urban park for more than a century is immeasurable," he said.

"His breadth of knowledge in landscape architecture ensured the parklands were the hidden treasure for many spectators during the Games, and his energy will live on as the park reopens for generations of visitors to enjoy."

Hopkins, who was born in Liverpool and studied at the University of Greenwich - then Thames Polytechnic, died of natural causes at his home in West Philadelphia.

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