The ofﬁcial regeneration magazine of Southwark Council Issue Four Autumn/Winter 2006
INSIDE — ELEPHANT AND CASTLE: THE TWO TOWERS • TATE MODERN UNVEILS EXPANSION PLANS SOUTHWARK’S REGENERATION PROJECT BY PROJECT • ARTIST IAN DAVENPORT ON SOUTHWARK
Southwark: Londonâ€™s most dynamic and exciting borough Promoting major developments that transform the area, improve the economy and raise the aspirations of the local community.
Southwark The ofﬁcial regeneration magazine of Southwark Council Editor Julie Mackintosh firstname.lastname@example.org Editor in chief Sarah Herbert email@example.com Business Development Manager Lee Harrison firstname.lastname@example.org Production Manager Lucy Morris email@example.com Managing Director Toby Fox firstname.lastname@example.org Design Wire www.wiredesign.com Printed by Trade Winds Images Southwark Council, Hayes Davidson, Edward Webb, Prudence Cuming Associates, Totality UK, Flip, David Levene, Sellar Property Group, Alex de Rijke, Zaha Hadid Architects, Marina Jolley, BL Canada Quays, Jody Kingzett, More London. For Southwark Council Chiltern House Portland Street London SE17 2ES Communications Manager(s) Julie Humphreys email@example.com Kura Perkins firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher 3rd Floor Lansdowne House 3-7 Northcote Road London SW11 1NG T. 020 7978 6840 F. 020 7978 6837 Subscriptions and Feedback To register for free subscriptions and/or to offer your comments visit: www.SouthwarkMagazine.com ©3Fox International Limited 2006 All material is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of 3Fox International Limited is strictly forbidden. The greatest care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information in this magazine at time of going to press, but we accept no responsibility for omissions or errors. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of 3Fox International Limited or Southwark Council.
Southwark Issue Four
Welcome to the fourth issue of Southwark, Southwark Council’s ofﬁcial regeneration magazine. This is London’s most exciting and diverse borough. From cultural Bankside and colourful Peckham to trendy Bermondsey and tranquil Dulwich, Southwark brims with promise and opportunity. Our location close to the City and the West End, fantastic public transport links, worldrenowned attractions and multicultural communities make this the capital’s top destination to live, work and play. We also boast arguably the most innovative regeneration programme in the country, and, as the articles in this magazine show, we are a borough of action. Planning permission has just been granted for the ﬁrst two development sites at the Canada Water development (page 22 and 23), Spa Park opened earlier this year at the mixed-use Bermondsey Spa development where ﬁrst residents are expected early in 2007 (page 20 and 21). Urban designers will soon be appointed to the Aylesbury Estate redevelopment (page 19) and architects are busy working on £1.5 billion Elephant and Castle’s groundbreaking residential element (pages 50 to 53).
Design excellence is paramount to Southwark’s regeneration. In Tate Modern, City Hall, Borough Market and Peckham Library we already have some of London’s most iconic buildings. We aim to champion a planning process that is transparent and fair both to the development industry and to Southwark’s residents (pages 10 to 15). It is crucial for the local community to see real rewards from the regeneration programme. Excellent progress has been made in recent years, especially in areas such as Peckham and through initiatives like Southwark Works! (see page 15). However, the borough still suffers from deprivation and we will continue to pursue strategies to eradicate poverty and social exclusion. Southwark magazine is distributed throughout the UK regeneration industry. Let us know what you think of the issues covered at www.southwark.gov.uk or www.southwarkmagazine.com. Issue ﬁve will be published early next year. Richard Thomas executive member for regeneration
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06 News Catch up with the latest regeneration news in Southwark. 10 Shaping Southwark: with style With the emphasis on design excellence, there’s no such thing as an “ordinary” regeneration scheme in Southwark. We discover how the council is creating a brighter future for all the residents of London’s most exciting borough. 16 Building a better borough We take an in-depth look at some of Southwark’s most exciting regeneration schemes: the Aylesbury Estate redevelopment; Bermondsey Spa; Canada Water; Bermondsey Square and Tenda Road Early Years Centre. 26 Coming to a window near you... New London Bridge House 28 Southwark shines during London Architecture Biennale It should come as no surprise that Southwark, with its pioneering spirit, took pride of place during the recent festival to celebrate all things architectural. We report back on some of the highlights.
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Contents 30 Ian Davenport on Southwark Peckham resident and former Turner Prize nominee Ian Davenport shares his thoughts on the role of artists in regeneration, the transformation of his local area and the huge piece of public art he has just created at Bankside. 34 An artistic expansion: Tate Modern unveils its £165 million plans What is the world’s most visited modern art gallery planning next?
50 Pursuing happiness: the architecture panel gets to work The ﬁrst 11 architects are designing homes for Elephant and Castle: have a peek at their vision for 21st century housing. 54 Green and clean Southwark Council places the environment at the forefront of its regeneration plans at Elephant and Castle.
38 MIPIM: the ingredients of regeneration Find out who said what and why during the debate at the MIPIM property show.
Advertisement Features 08 BL Canada Quays – Read all about it at Canada Water 32 First Base –
40 The Elephant ethos Elephant and Castle development director Chris Horn shares some of his views on the £1.5 billion regeneration.
Advertisers 02 Southwark Council 12 14 Idom 18 24 36 42 Elephant and Castle 44 Oakmayne Properties 48 52 55 Back cover
43 News What’s going on down the Elephant? 46 Elephant and Castle: the two towers We take a look at the recently approved schemes set to change the face of Elephant and Castle.
Hilton opens as More London powers on The four-star London Hilton Tower Bridge was due to open at 5 More London as Southwark went to press. Offering 245 bedrooms as well as banqueting and conferencing facilities for 400 guests, the hotel is the latest landmark to be reached by the 280,000 square metre development. Buildngs 3 and 4 were handed over for ﬁtout in July. International law ﬁrms Norton Rose and Lawrence Graham will occupy their new premises at 31,500 square metre 3 More London Riverside and 11,600 square metre 4 More London Riverside respectively, by summer 2007.
Both buildings include space for future company expansion. In total, 4,400 square metres are currently available on short term leases. More London’s ﬁrst tenants were mayor Ken Livingstone and the Greater London Assembly, which now occupies City Hall. Buildings 1, 2 and 6 are complete and let, featuring the likes of Ernst & Young, Visit London and private equity investment group Terra Firma. The developer also has planning consent for a further 37,175 square metres of Grade A ofﬁce space at Building 7 for which Jones Lang LaSalle an Knight Frank are letting agents.
Lettings complete at Palestra The 27,127 square metre Palestra ofﬁce scheme, developed by Blackfriars Investments and Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), is now fully let. Transport for London (TfL) signed a 20year lease for 24,500 square metres in August, just as the building was nearing completion. TfL will move to Palestra – which was constructed speculatively – in 2008 and pay around £3.16 per square metre (£34 per square foot). “TfL is spread across 50 different ofﬁces and has been seeking premises to bring staff together,” said the company’s Jim Ovenell. Palestra’s ﬁrst tenants, the London Development Agency and the London Climate Change Agency, were moving in as Southwark went to press. They will occupy the remaining 2,600 square metres (or three of Palestra’s 12 storeys) after ﬁnalising a deal in December 2005. Documents that appeared on the LDA website showed that Palestra had beaten several other potential locations, including two at Canary Wharf.
Left: Hilton Tower Bridge. Below: Palestra.
Designed by Will Alsop, the building will feature the UK’s ﬁrst combined photovoltaic and wind turbine system. Southwark Council granted planning permission to the Climate Change Agency to install the turbines which, along with the photovoltaic cells on the roof, will generate energy to the ﬂoors it occupies with the LDA.
‘Poured Lines’ art work unveiled
Tenda Road Early Years Centre opens
Southwark Council is bidding for up to £80 million of government funding to develop business and enterprise in the borough. If successful, the Local Economic Growth Initiative (LEGI) money, distributed over ten years, would concentrate on increasing entrepreneurial activity, supporting sustainable growth and attracting inward investment.
“Poured Lines: Southwark Street”, one of the UK’s largest pieces of public art, was unveiled under Western Bridge on September 6. Designed by Turner Prize nominated artist and Peckham resident Ian Davenport, the 48 metre long and three metre high art work incorporates over 300 colours.
More than 80 babies, toddlers and children will soon be enjoying fabulous new surroundings following the recent opening of Tenda Road Early Years Centre. The centre replaces an existing 55-place nursery. It also includes 16 key worker homes as well as healthcare and adult learning facilities. For more on the project, see article on page 25.
As well as creating more employment for local people, LEGI funding would support a wide range of initiatives including the provision of ﬁnancial and strategic advice, affordable business space and promoting Southwark as an investment location across the UK and worldwide. The bid was launched in September following extensive consultation with Southwark’s business community to establish the services and facilities they need to grow their companies. “LEGI funding could have a massive impact on the borough and, if successful, we believe our programme will be a huge catalyst for further regeneration,” says the council’s strategic director of regeneration Paul Evans. A decision on the funding bid is expected by the start of 2007.
The striking piece occupies a prime location close to Tate Modern and the upcoming Bankside 123 development. Commissioned by Southwark Council and Land Securities, “Poured Lines: Southwark Street” is likely to be viewed by over one million people every year. For more on the art work, see article on pages 30 and 31.
Shortlisted bidders expected soon at Silwood Southwark Council is preparing to announce a developer shortlist for site 4b of its Silwood Estate regeneration. The 7,500 square metre site is likely to feature more than 100 mixed tenure homes. The 600-plus unit estate, which spans Lewisham and Southwark boroughs, is being demolished and replaced with modern, new homes. Southwark Council hopes to select a developer early in 2007 following a fantastic response from the industry. Construction of the site 4b homes will be completed by 2009.
Left: Tenda Road Early Years Centre. Bottom left: “Poured Lines: Southark Street”. Below: Silwood Estate.
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Southwark bids for business funding
Read all about it at Canada Water
It’s full steam ahead at British Land and Canada Quays’ (BL Canada Quays) mixed-use transformation of Canada Water. In August, Southwark Council’s planning committee resolved to grant outline approval for sites A and B of the Rotherhithe Peninsula regeneration. It also gave the go-ahead to a third application detailing plans for the public realm, including street layouts, landscaping and proposals for a community park.
Indicative images of the new public square that will be the focus for Canada Water’s regeneration.
“After working closely with council departments, the design review panel and in consultation with local residents, we are really pleased that our planning applications are now approved,” says David Taylor chairman of BL Canada Quays. “The next step is to develop detailed proposals for sites A and B before the end of this year.”
Site B will also be home to a new Piers Gough-designed library on which public consultation is now under way. “This will be a truly landmark building,” says Taylor. “We aim to create a fantastic library at the heart of Canada Water.”
The architect himself is just as enthusiastic: “It’s all about the public and their enjoyment,” says Gough of CZWG Architects. “We are designing a place for all ages and all types of people. It must be instantly friendly, understandable and uncomplicated but it can still be visually stunning.” As he points out, with plans for a full mix of community uses such as local events and education, the new library will be much more than a traditional information centre. A proposed exhibition and performance space on the ground ﬂoor will function as a meeting room for local groups and classes, and as a venue for events and festivals with scope to open out onto the new public piazza. The main lending and reading areas will have great views across the water as too will the library’s proposed cafe. “We are trying to maximise the beneﬁts and uses of the library for the entire community by thinking adventurously and redeﬁning the services on offer,” says Adrian Whittle, Southwark Council’s head of culture, libraries and learning. “People have told us they would like to see educational facilities so there will be a real focus on learning with homework and reading clubs, an adult education centre and IT classes. For others, and this is especially relevant in central London, it is simply about providing quiet and comfortable study space.”
Whittle says both the council and BL Canada Quays are committed to “removing the barriers” that might stop people from using the library. This could be anything from ensuring the building is fully accessible, to having staff on hand to assist visitors in using facilities, to having longer operating hours. “We live in a 24-hour society now,” he says. “The library will have easy access to Canada Water’s London Underground station. We are considering a ‘drop in’ service for the most popular titles, 24 hour access to certain parts of the library, and opening earlier and staying open later to catch people on their way to and from school or work. “Libraries are changing, as recent examples in Peckham, Tower Hamlets and Newham show,” continues Whittle. “They contribute massively to regeneration programmes by improving people’s life chances, giving new focus to community activities and encouraging learning.” But they also boost areas in less obvious ways. For instance, shops close to popular libraries report increased footfall and there are more people around in the evenings making the environment feel safer. The fact that the library at Canada Water will be the ﬁrst public building and the anchor of the entire regeneration is impressive and exciting.
Left: Canada Water’s library will be for residents of all ages.
These early sites reﬂect BL Canada Quays’ and Southwark Council’s vision for a truly mixed-use community at Canada Water with plans for over 800 residential units, retail and civic space, studio and ofﬁce accommodation.
More London has helped to restore local pride in the north of the borough.
“If you want to develop here, you’re not going to do it with ordinary, boring standard solutions,” says Southwark Council’s strategic director of regeneration, Paul Evans. “I think it is evident from everything we’ve done in the recent past that we are absolutely committed to the highest quality of design. Formally, we have design guides and we have the design review panel, but in many ways we are trying to lead by strong examples, of which buildings like the Shard of Glass are a key element.”
Alongside the massive regeneration projects led or partnered by the council, the list of mixed-use private developments is seemingly endless. The More London scheme between London Bridge and Tower Bridge is already a destination in its own right. Offering Grade A ofﬁce space, a four-star hotel, the UK’s ﬁrst purpose-built children’s theatre, retail, leisure and public realm improvements including a performance space seating 800, its 280,000 square metres are well on their way to completion.
Evans’ stance reﬂects the importance of design excellence in both Southwark Council’s £4 billion regeneration programme and in its overall planning approach. The borough already boasts some of the capital’s most memorable buildings, from Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe to Peckham Library and City Hall. London Bridge Tower (aka the Shard of Glass), Palestra and the new Zaha Hadid-designed Architecture Foundation building promise to be icons of the future. Likewise, ﬂagship schemes at Elephant and Castle, Bermondsey Spa and Canada Water are taking regeneration to a new level.
“Southwark has become a new hotspot on the map for major employment,” says Mark Wesley of Ernst & Young, which is based at One More London Place. “When people see what’s here now and what could be here in the future, they’ll think long and hard about locating their businesses in Southwark. For me, one of the main advantages is being able to reach a number of clients really easily.”
With no shortage of development partners or privately-led commercial and residential schemes, perhaps Southwark Council can afford (more than many other local authorities) to insist on the highest standards. Its central location; transport links via underground, rail and bus; and attractions such as cultural Bankside and culinary Borough Market, have made Southwark arguably London’s top property prospect. “Southwark is a huge area, multicultural and multi-mixed, with a great history,” says Irvine Sellar, chairman of Sellar Group, developer of the Shard. “It will be a ‘must be’ place: to live, to work and to visit.”
Land Securities’ Bankside 123 scheme, close to Tate Modern, should receive the ﬁrst tenants to its 86,000 square metres of ofﬁce accommodation early in 2007 when IPC Media arrives at the 46,350 square metre Bankside 1. The Will Alsopdesigned 12-storey Palestra building on Blackfriars Road is now fully let and about to welcome its ﬁrst tenants, the London Development Agency and the London Climate Change Agency. Meanwhile, the 55,480 square metre ofﬁce and retailled New London Bridge House received planning permission in April (see pages 26 and 27). But high-quality design is just one element of Southwark’s regeneration, as Southwark Council’s executive member for regeneration Richard Thomas points out: “The beneﬁts of high level physical and economic change must impact on local communities.”
Shaping Southwark: with style
Southwark is still one of London’s poorest boroughs, characterised in parts by high unemployment, low educational achievement and beneﬁt dependency. “It is crucial that regeneration improves the lives of all of Southwark’s residents. That is certainly the council’s overriding consideration when granting planning permission and real progress is being made,” says Thomas. He highlights the inclusion of integrated affordable housing in residential schemes; environmental considerations such as the carbon neutral policy at Elephant and Castle (see page 54); and progress in education with new and planned academies. There are also public realm improvements particularly around More London and Bermondsey, the establishment of an anti-poverty strategy, and employment initiatives such as Southwark Works! (see page 15). “Regeneration is about creating mixeduse, sustainable communities. Take Elephant and Castle, for example. It will become a rejuvenated area within central London providing local jobs, high quality housing, interesting retail and new public facilities,” continues Thomas. “In Peckham, we demolished the ‘ﬁve estates’ and built homes with gardens and we intend to deliver a similarly spectacular transformation at the Aylesbury Estate in the coming years.”
Above: Southwark’s regeneration is all about improving the lives of residents. Below: Local historian and author John Constable.
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Southwark snapshot: Once upon a time Local historian and author John Constable reveals another side to Southwark.
Of course, to effect change on such an ambitious scale, the correct procedures have to be in place. “We aim to offer very clear guidelines for both developers and the community on which types of schemes are likely to receive planning approval and what might be expected in terms of Section 106 requirements,” says John East, the council’s head of planning and transport. “It is absolutely key for the community to beneﬁt during this period of great change.” Consultation with residents has always been part of Southwark’s regeneration ethos and developers have been strongly encouraged to engage with the community. This process will soon become a requirement when Southwark Council adopts its Statement of Community Involvement in 2007.
“It’s the oldest part of London, even older than the City, going right back to Roman times. Southwark has always developed its own unique character over those 2,000 years. In fact, for 500 years it was actually outside the law of the city, something of an outlaw area. This is very well embodied by the Old Cross Bones Graveyard. This is a medieval graveyard, allegedly for prostitutes, the “Winchester Geese”. These ladies of the night were actually licensed by the church, by the Bishop of Winchester. “I think this kind of place really symbolises what’s special about Southwark. It’s not the Disney, ‘ye olde’ view of London history. This is a place of real people. It was often a place throughout history of the outsider. People have always come to Southwark from all over the world, often refugees and immigrants, to make their homes here and really contribute to the life of the area. That’s partly why Southwark’s got an extraordinarily diverse and rich cultural mix.”
Indoor Swimming Pool in College Vizcaya. Spain
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Bermondsey Spa Regeneration Area Site J: 49 units Mixed use Housing Development, London Client: Wharf Developments Ltd.
Southwark Council’s new Southwark Plan, previously known as the Unitary Development Plan (UDP), will soon be adopted. It will provide speciﬁc guidelines on issues such as affordable housing, design standards, density, car parking, the inclusion of community facilities and the public realm. The executive has considered the government inspector’s report which followed the UDP inquiry last year. The planning team is also completing a Section 106 strategy. Regeneration is all about making Southwark an even better place to live, work and play. It can be serious, but it can also be fun. The borough featured strongly in the London Architecture Biennale, which took place in June. Events, designed to highlight its regeneration programme and commitment to architectural excellence, included talks, parties, exhibitions and competitions (see the article on pages 28 and 29 for more details). Tate Modern, already one of the UK’s top tourist attractions, is preparing to submit a £165 million expansion proposal for planning approval this autumn (see pages 34 to 37). The gallery hopes to develop a new glass pyramidal building increasing its overall size by 23,000 square metres or 60 per cent. It would seem that Southwark can make regeneration stylish too.
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BL Canada Quays has had very detailed consultation with the local community over its plans for Canada Water on the Rotherhithe Peninsula. This has included open days, events, a newsletter and a dedicated website. “We really want to engage with residents, both to acknowledge their concerns and to incorporate their suggestions,” says BL Canada Quays chairman David Taylor. “Obviously, we can’t please everyone 100 per cent. However, people do have direct access to the team responsible for the project.”
Above: Siobhan Davies’ dance studio opened in Elephant and Castle earlier this year. Right: Southwark Works! advisers help tackle the barriers to employment. Southwark Works! What is it? Southwark Works! is a recruitment initiative pioneered by Southwark Council to provide training and jobs for people whose personal situation makes gaining employment difﬁcult. This can include a history of drug or alcohol problems, language difﬁculties, ill health, disability or problems with childcare provision.
Has it been successful? Yes. Since it was founded in autumn 2004, Southwark Works! has seen almost 1,000 people. More than 130 have gained jobs as a direct result of the scheme, while more than 200 have participated in training programmes. This success has attracted interest from councils across the country.
How does it work? A team of specialist advisers provide one-toone conﬁdential advice identifying the problems facing particular job seekers and helping to prepare them for employment. They provide career guidance, interview preparation, training or work experience. With a network of local employers, Southwark Works! tries to match people to suitable vacancies that arise. Once a person has found a job, advisers and employment liaison ofﬁcers offer ongoing support.
Case study Shani had been unemployed for a couple of years after what she describes as a difﬁcult time in her life. “I met a Southwark Works! adviser and she gave me lots of encouragement and was really enthusiastic,” she says. “Southwark Works! helped me with my CV and with job applications. I was able to purchase some interview clothes that really gave me a lot of conﬁdence.” Shani was referred to Southwark’s arts and culture workplace coordinator. “I was put forward for a pre-employment training programme with the London Eye,” she explains. “Fortunately, I passed the interview and that’s where I’m working now. It has changed my life.”
Building a better borough
The following pages can only provide a snapshot of what is a hugely ambitious agenda, but they represent Southwark Council’s ongoing commitment to improving the lives’ of all residents and its determination to deliver a programme that sets new standards in regeneration.
With 40 per cent of the borough covered by current or planned regeneration programmes, Southwark is home to arguably the most exciting and innovative schemes in the country. From the £1.5 billion transformation of Elephant and Castle and the 200,000 square metre neighbourhood under creation at Bermondsey Spa to the proposed redevelopment of the infamous Aylesbury Estate and the ambitious mixed-use plans at Canada Water, this is one London borough which isn’t afraid to roll up its metaphorical sleeves and effect change.
Aylesbury Estate: the design shortlist Left: The infamous walkways.
The Aylesbury Estate has been called many things: an eyesore, crime-ridden, iconic, depressing, unﬁxable and poorly designed, to name just a few. It has become a symbol, at least for national politicians and the media, of British inner city life – to be saved, ogled at or lambasted depending on the audience and the prevailing mood. For its 7,500 residents, the Aylesbury Estate is simply called “home”. But it’s a home that’s set to change, radically, and for the better. In September 2005, following the discovery of structural defects which, combined with much needed infrastructure investment, totalled £350 million, Southwark Council’s executive committee voted to demolish the Aylesbury Estate’s 2,700 homes and create a new mixed-use, mixed tenure community. In partnership with housing associations and developers, it intends to replace the monolithic grey blocks and concrete walkways with 2,200 homes for rent and around 2,700 homes for sale or shared ownership.
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There are also plans for improved community facilities and revamped public spaces alongside new retail and leisure amenities. Initial proposals include academy status for Walworth School, the possibility of a new secondary school and construction of a new information centre to include capability for Tykes Corner children’s centre. Earlier this year, the council invited expressions of interest from masterplanners to redesign the estate. A shortlist of six is preparing to submit detailed proposals to a selection panel, including residents. The successful designer will be chosen by the end of 2006 and will have completed an Area Action Plan by June 2008. Martin Smith, Aylesbury regeneration director for Southwark Council, says proposals must reﬂect the vision of the estate’s residents: “We held three open days, which were fantastically well attended, to discover exactly what local people wanted.” The main issues centred on timescales, the quality and size of housing as well as plans for open spaces.
Redevelopment on this scale – the Aylesbury Estate is 285,000 square metres – combined with the logistics involved in rehousing thousands of residents is a long and complicated process. Housing associations have been identiﬁed to build and manage the ﬁrst phase of replacement homes for Aylesbury residents. Although these could be complete by 2009, the entire regeneration is likely to take at least a decade.
Aylesbury Estate Where: Close to Elephant and Castle and less than two miles from Waterloo and London Bridge. What: The demolition and redevelopment of one of the UK’s most notorious housing estates. Its 2,700 homes will be replaced with 2,200 homes for rent and around 2,700 homes for sale or shared ownership alongside new community and leisure facilities. When: This is the start of a long process. The regeneration will take at least a decade. Why: Existing plans for refurbishment were abandoned when structural defects and failing infrastructure made them uneconomical. The council’s executive voted instead to demolish and redevelop the estate.
Plans become reality at Bermondsey Spa Bermondsey Spa Where: A short stroll from the City and Bankside, just east of London Bridge. What: 2,000 new homes (25 per cent will be affordable), more than 26,000 square metres of relandscaped space, new healthcare facilities, a council one-stop shop and retail, including a supermarket. When: The one-stop shop and Spa Park are now open. First residents are due to arrive early in 2007. An overall completion date is set for 2011. Why: Bermondsey has suffered from social and economic problems since the loss of traditional employment industries during the 1970s and 1980s.
The Artesian Building overlooks Spa Park.
“There has been an incredibly strong response and the fact that people are so keen to live and invest here is a testament to the very real progress that has been made,” says Tim Thompson, Southwark Council’s principal projects surveyor. “Bermondsey suffered badly during the post-industrial decline of the 1970s and 1980s when the traditional employment base vanished. But the area is reinventing itself.” The ingredients for successful regeneration certainly seem to be in place. Firstly, its location, close to the City, the attractions of the South Bank and the major transport hub of London Bridge, could hardly be better. Secondly, the council is a major landholder with the determination and vision to realise a major mixed-use development. And, thirdly, there is no shortage of development partners. So, perhaps it’s not too surprising that the Artesian Building is proving so successful. Including the 22 apartments already sold, on this site Hyde Housing is constructing 73 one, two and threebedroom homes – 42 per cent of which are for affordable and key worker housing – and a health centre. Residents are due to arrive from the beginning of next year. “There has been huge demand,” says Fernando Sandova, site sales negotiator for agent Savills. “The apartments are proving popular with ﬁrst-time buyers. I think key factors include the views over the park, the quality of the ﬁnish and the proximity to the City.”
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designed by architecture practice Idom, the development will also have 49 residential units.
In total, more than 1,000 residential units (of the proposed 2,000) are under planning or construction at Bermondsey Spa. However, as Thompson points out, the council is pursuing a holistic approach. Along with Southwark Council’s one-stop shop, which opened last year, and the health centres, the task of community building is well under way.
One element of Bermondsey Spa that looks certain to inspire just that is site C. A planning application for the 53,406 square metres (36,425 of which are owned by the council) is due to be submitted this autumn, following outline approval by the council’s executive in July.
Last September, the City of London Academy, a new 1,200-pupil secondary school opened in the area boasting topclass academic, technological and sports provision. It is sponsored by the City of London Corporation and was constructed on land supplied by Southwark Council. In March, Spa Park reopened after a £2 million facelift to overwhelming approval from local residents. It is now home to a community facility offering play areas for pre-school and school-aged children. Meanwhile, the Salmon Youth Centre is also under refurbishment with plans for a state-of-the-art sports centre, performing arts centre, learning and enterprise hub and staff accommodation. In addition, Little Acorns Nursery is receiving new, modern premises. Constructed by Blueprint Homes and
“These are the elements that will build a new community,” says Thompson. “One of the overriding objectives of the regeneration is to bring a revived sense of local pride to Bermondsey. This was something that had been lost.”
The idea is to create a true urban village with a full mix of uses. “We are now preparing more detailed proposals,” says Sam Holden of Glenn Howells Architects. “By acknowledging the character of the area’s industrial past, and introducing a new sequence of interconnected public spaces, the masterplan aims to establish a true sense of place that can beneﬁt the wider community.” The council hopes to seek development partners for site C from early next year. In all, 13 of the 20 sites that form Bermondsey Spa’s 200,000 square metres are either planned, under construction or complete. It’s a massive undertaking but, from early indications, it seems the regenerators are getting it right. Below: 21st century living at Bermondsey Spa.
Since April, the ﬁrst 22 homes released for sale at the £500 million, mixed-use Bermondsey Spa regeneration have been snapped up quicker than you can say “less than one mile from the City”.
Hyde is now preparing to release the ﬁrst phase of St James’ Square. A 200 apartment development, it forms part of ﬁve linked sites that will eventually deliver 644 homes, an eight-doctor GP surgery and a small supermarket. Meanwhile, over at Site D, Hyde is awaiting a planning decision (expected before the end of 2006) on 150 residential and four medium-sized retail units.
Go, go, go at Canada Water It was the news that British Land and Canada Quays (BL Canada Quays) had been waiting for. In August, after three years of public consultation and masterplanning, Southwark Council’s planning committee resolved to grant outline permission for the ﬁrst two sites of its Canada Water regeneration. A third application detailing plans for the public realm, including street layouts, landscaping and proposals for a community park was also approved for the Rotherhithe Peninsula development.
Below: Canada Water was a working dock.
“This is a very special milestone for our regeneration scheme and we are absolutely delighted,” says BL Canada Quays chairman David Taylor. “We can now move forward to our next round of consultation looking at in-depth designs for each of the buildings. We intend to submit detailed planning proposals for both sites by the end of this year.” Exciting proposals they promise to be, with sites A and B set to host a full range of uses spanning retail, residential,
community and commercial. “We are determined to build a sustainable mixeduse community at Canada Water and I think these early sites demonstrate this commitment,” continues Taylor. Site A will contain almost 600 residential units including affordable and family homes, as well as civic and retail space. Site B will contain ofﬁces earmarked for Southwark Council’s housing service and one-stop shop, ﬂexible studio workshops for start-up and small businesses, retail outlets, 232 new homes and a Piers Gough-designed library. “This is our ﬁrst library so it’s very exciting,” says the CZWG architect. “We look forward to hearing and absorbing the views of local residents as consultation on the design and the facilities to be offered by the library continues.” Crucially, this community resource is being targeted by the council as one of the ﬁrst elements of the regeneration to be delivered (see pages 8 and 9 for more details). The public realm is set to play a signiﬁcant role in Canada Water’s £1 billion regeneration. Guidelines on quality and consistency, devised by lead masterplanner Urban Strategies as part of the public realm planning application, will be followed by all designers and architects who work on the project in the future. One prime example will be Deal Porter Plaza, the new public square on which the library will be located. “The plaza’s design will be strongly inﬂuenced by the rich heritage of the Canada Water basin as a working dock,” says David Coomes, director of landscape architect EDCO Design. “Paving patterns and seating benches will reﬂect the characteristics
Where: On the Rotherhithe Peninsula to the north east of Southwark. What: Almost 3,000 new homes including affordable and family housing, nearly 10,000 square metres of shops and leisure, more than 9,000 square metres of ofﬁce and live-work space, a new public library and a high-quality public realm. When: Detailed planning applications on ﬁrst sites to be submitted soon. Overall regeneration of the entire masterplan area likely to take at least a decade. Why: The area is not capitalising on its central London location with a current lack of facilities for the community and vacant land. Above: Indicative images of Deal Porter Plaza.
of the ‘deals’ that were once unloaded at the dock. Canadian trees will also be used as a direct reference to where the timber originally came from.” The plaza will provide for a range of activities including a café with outdoor seating, a space for public events and markets, public art and cycle parking. With entrances to the London Underground station, it will also act as a dramatic “open viewing platform” over the basin. BL Canada Quays has come a long way. As well as extensive public consultation spanning workshops, newsletters, open days and youth forums, the team is working closely with Southwark Council. Responding to feedback received from the community and from the council’s design review panel, BL Canada Quays Southwark Issue Four
amended its original scheme to move taller buildings away from the waterside, to include additional public space and a children’s play area, to provide more family housing and to relocate the library towards the water’s edge allowing for a larger public plaza. According to Taylor, the effort and time has been well spent: “Canada Water is one of central London’s last really great sites with vacant land and fantastic public transport links to the tube and bus networks. This makes it a great place to create a new mixed-use development to beneﬁt the community.” The next few months are certainly going to be very interesting on the Rotherhithe Peninsula. Detailed consultation on sites A and B is now under way with proposals due to be submitted by the
end of the year. We’ll be watching closely and reporting back in future issues of Southwark.
Below: The regeneration is providing a new focus for the community.
With its numerous boutiques, cafes and Zandra Rhodes’ Fashion and Textile Museum, Bermondsey Street is already one of London’s coolest thoroughfares. These attractions will soon be joined by the equally impressive Bermondsey Square regeneration, which began construction in June. The mixed-use scheme will boast 96 apartments (20 of
“With its eclectic mix of uses and highquality design, Bermondsey Square will complement and enhance what is already one of London’s most vibrant quarters,” says Matt Robinson of Igloo Regeneration (part of Morley Fund Management), which is leading the scheme.
As the 13,940 square metre development sits above the 10th century Bermondsey Abbey, extensive archaeological investigations had to be completed before building work could begin. It is also home to the weekly New Caledonia Antiques Market, which is continuing to operate throughout construction. When Bermondsey Square is complete in spring 2008, the revamped market will be part of one of the capital’s hippest destinations.
Robinson says that negotiations are ongoing with prospective operators for the hotel, supermarket and restaurants as well as with potential registered social landlords.
Below: Tenda Road Early Years Centre.
Right: The antiques market has been at Bermondsey Square since 1855.
Tenda Road: the quickest building ever developed? The Early Years Centre on Tenda Road, South Bermondsey, welcomed space for more than 80 babies, toddlers and children when it opened in September. Residents also arrived at 16 key worker apartments located above the centre. The new building, which offers healthcare and adult learning facilities, replaces an existing 55-place nursery which had a litany of problems, including overcrowding and a leaking roof. “This project has been characterised by partnerships: between council departments, with agencies such as Southwark Issue Four
Sure Start, and with our development partner Hyde Housing,” says Southwark Council surveyor Sarah Collins. “The mix of uses within a building of this size is encouraging, spanning residential, adult and child education, healthcare and other community services.”
Another exceptional aspect of the Tenda Road development is its use of the Buma modular building technique. Made in Poland from a design by PCKO Architects, the Centre was constructed in just over six months.
Construction begins at Bermondsey Square
which will be affordable and designed by local architect Urban Salon), commercial space, a hotel, a supermarket and restaurants. Local company Shortwave Films is set to open an arthouse cinema and production company onsite.
Coming to a window near youâ€Ś New London Bridge House
Floor plates of just under 3,000 square metres will be available for single tenants or adapted for multi-occupancy, above almost 2,000 square metres of retail space. There are also plans for a public piazza, a new bus station and improved pedestrian links to both the underground and mainline train station. The “Shard’s little sister” gained its nickname because parts of the building are facetted to resemble a gem.
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New London Bridge House aka “The Gem” was granted planning permission in April. The 55,740 square metre ofﬁce and retail development is part of the scheme led by Sellar Property Group, which also includes the proposed 310-metre Shard of Glass. Designed by Renzo Piano, New London Bridge House will replace the existing 1960s ofﬁce tower between London Bridge Station and Borough High Street.
That Southwark featured strongly in this year’s hugely successful London Architecture Biennale, a ten day festival held in June to celebrate the capital’s architecture scene, should come as no surprise. A fascinating mix of the old and the new, the borough already hosts many of London’s most celebrated buildings as well as some of its most eagerly anticipated future developments, including works by world renowned architects such as Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Zaha Hadid, Will Alsop and Piers Gough.
Above: The sheep drive. Right: Renzo Piano delivers his “sermon”. Far left: “The Southwark Effect” exhibition. Far right: The regeneration debate at Tate Modern.
More than 75,000 people attended the biennale, of which Southwark Council was an ofﬁcial partner, with more than 200 events and exhibitions taking place. The theme of the festival was “change”, a subject Southwark can identify with given that 40 per cent of the borough is under current or planned regeneration projects. The biennale’s launch event saw 30 sheep released by the Bishop of Southwark for a sheep drive from Borough Market to Smithﬁeld. Ten thousand people came to see Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers guide the animals over the Millennium Bridge.
Southwark shines in London Architecture Biennale
Piano also featured in one of the festival’s highlights, delivering a “sermon” on his past and present work to a sell-out crowd at Southwark Cathedral. “I love Southwark,” he began, as he described architecture as a struggle between practicality and spirituality. He also talked about his proposed 310-metre tower the Shard of Glass at London Bridge. Acknowledging the poor reputation of skyscrapers, Piano said his creation was not a “selﬁsh” or “mysterious affair” but rather a mixed-use building “with life 24 hours a day”.
“The Southwark Effect”, an exhibition held at the Ragged School on Union Street, highlighted the groundbreaking nature of Southwark’s architecture by featuring buildings both from the last 100 years and those that will appear over the next ten years. “This has always been a borough of change, with its pioneering reputation beginning in the 1930s with the Modern Movement buildings, and war damage making Southwark a major focus for redevelopment,” says John East, Southwark Council’s head of planning and transport, who was co-curator of the exhibition.
Two lively debates, both held at Tate Modern, were also extremely popular. “What are the successful ingredients of regeneration?” focused on how schemes, particularly those in Southwark, can create a lasting, positive impact. Panellists included Elephant and Castle development director Chris Horn, Tate Modern project director Vivienne Bennett and George Nicholson, chairman of Borough Market. Meanwhile, the “1960s architecture: iconic or eyesore” debate – broadcast by BBC Radio 3’s Nightwaves programme – sparked, as one might imagine, some rather differing opinions between its expert panel members.
Southwark Council also ran two very successful competitions as part of the biennale. For the “Gates to the City” competition, the council invited students from all the borough’s secondary schools to submit possible designs for improving the Great Guildford Street Tunnel. The prize for most innovative design as well
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as the second and third prizes were awarded to three groups of pupils from Bermondsey’s City of London Academy. The ﬁrst prize was awarded to a group of students from Dulwich College. Designs were displayed throughout the festival at the Unicorn Theatre. Southwark Council also received an overwhelming response when it invited architects to redesign two disused public toilets in the borough. Again, the winning entry and the shortlisted designs were exhibited at the Unicorn.
Ian Davenport on Southwark In 1991, aged just 25, Ian Davenport became the youngest ever Turner Prize nominee. Fifteen years on, with an impressive catalogue of work, the abstract artist and Peckham resident has just completed one of the country’s largest pieces of permanent public art under a railway bridge in Bankside. Commissioned by Southwark Council and Land Securities – with support from the Arts Council – “Poured Lines: Southwark Street” is a 48 metre long, three metre high multi-coloured art work that is set to become the capital’s newest landmark. Here, he shares his views on public art, Peckham and what he’s do as leader of Southwark Council. “Poured Lines: Southwark Street” will be viewed by over one million people each year, how does that make you feel? Very excited. At the moment the bridge is dark and uninviting. This is going to add a lot of colour to people’s lives. The great thing about public art is that it can reach people who might never visit a gallery. This piece is vibrant, simple, fun and funky. Incorporating over 300 colours, “Poured Lines” makes an immediate impact. However, people who pass by each day on their way to work will begin to notice more subtle elements in its colour and form. Left: A portrait of the artist.
30 31 What is the inspiration behind the work? It’s an abstract painting so there isn’t one overriding inﬂuence. I am inspired by all kinds of things from cartoons like “The Simpsons” to Renaissance frescoes. As this is a public art work under a railway bridge, it has to be very durable. I spent six months researching materials and techniques as well as considering health and safety issues before beginning production. I used steel panels and ﬂuid enamel instead of canvas and acrylic paint. The enamel was poured onto the steel with gravity pulling down each of the lines that form the painting. I wanted to produce something structured that still allows chance incidents to occur. How different is designing public art versus a private commission? My wife says it’s twice the work for half the money! Only joking. The level of research that is needed for a public piece is the really crucial difference. I was worried that there would be lots of restraints imposed by Southwark Council, but this hasn’t happened. The fact that they undertook a project as ambitious as “Poured Lines” says a lot in itself. I really hope people will like it and appreciate what the council is doing to regenerate the area.
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How important is public art in the regeneration process? Very. Look at Bellenden in Peckham where I live. Public art and the input of local artists has been integral to its regeneration. Obviously, lots of other factors have to be in place too, but artists have been closely involved in regeneration all over the world either by designing schemes or kickstarting the process by moving to a previously undesirable area. SoHo in New York is the perfect example of this phenomenon. Why do you choose to live in Southwark? I’ve been in Peckham for 15 years now. It’s an interesting area, diverse and not too built up. It’s also reasonably priced by London standards. I really like Rye Lane, which buzzes with energy and activity. How has Peckham changed during your time there? There used to be a big problem with drugs on Rye Lane, but it feels safer and cleaner now. Residents can see the effects of regeneration, like the housing renewal project in Bellenden, and that more people are choosing to move to the area.
Above: “Poured Lines: Southwark Street incorporates over 300 colours.
If you were leader of Southwark Council for a day, what would you do? Aside from commissioning lots more of my own work, I would address the issue of business rates for artists. The council wants artists to live in the area, but we pay business rates as well as council tax. Artists are so often the catalyst for regeneration, only to by forced out be higher prices later on. I would also install a tube line to Peckham How do you feel about having “Turner nominated” always placed before your name? I ﬁnd it really funny. I don’t really think about it anymore. At the time it was a strange experience, being 25 and the youngest person ever nominated. I had never experienced anything like it, the Turner Prize attracts such intense press and public interest. Actually, I don’t really believe in prizes for art.
An artistic expansion: Tate Modern unveils ÂŁ165 million plans
The future is glass for Herzog & de Meuron. ÂŠ Hayes Davidson
34 35 A spectacular, stacked glass pyramid could be the latest addition to the Southwark skyline as Tate Modern unveiled designs in July for its proposed £165 million expansion. The world’s most visited modern art museum, formerly Bankside Power Station, is preparing to submit a planning application this autumn to extend the gallery’s overall size by 23,000 square metres, an increase of 60 per cent. Designed by Tate Modern’s original architects Herzog & de Meuron and formed by a series of jagged glass boxes, the new 67 metre-high building would link to the southern side of the existing museum via the vast Turbine Hall. The area is currently occupied by an electricity substation owned by EDF Energy Networks, which is relocating as part of a modernisation programme. “For the ﬁrst phase of Tate Modern we aimed explicitly to use the brick structure of the power station to greatest advantage, treating it with respect and actually emphasising the neo-classical structure,” says architect Jacques Herzog. “Now we have taken a diametrically opposed stand by having gigantic blocks protrude out of a basically pyramidal structure. The more ambivalent, experimental and fragmentary architecture of the new building complements the existing unequivocal, hermetic and monolithic structure.” Southwark Issue Four
© Hayes Davidson
“This applies especially to the diversity of exhibition spaces and facilities open to the public inside and outside the complex. In the new building, new forms will be added, some functioning more like caves and not necessarily right-angled in shape, others consisting of spacious shafts that will enlarge the dimensions and enhance the potential of the current lofts.” The unprecedented popularity of Tate Modern, which opened in 2000 anticipating 1.8 million visitors each year and now receives more than four million, is one of the main reasons behind the proposed development. The expansion, which could be completed by 2012, would add 7,000 square metres of exhibition and design space to the gallery’s existing 9,000 square metres. It would allow more of the permanent collection to be displayed, provide scope for major exhibitions and enable new areas of visual art including photography, ﬁlm, video and performance to be explored. Director Sir Nicholas Serota believes today’s museum visitors are looking for a more interactive experience. “Since Tate Modern was conceived 15 years ago, the world has changed dramatically and the expectations of the internet generation are much more sophisticated and demanding,” he says. “The public is asking for more active engagement with art, and contemporary art in particular.” Key features of the expansion proposals include: two new performance areas in the oil tanks of the former power station; 2,500 square metres of educational space for formal and informal learning; developing an area speciﬁcally for young visitors; introducing a new roof terrace with views over London; and improving retail, member and restaurant facilities. Southwark Issue Four
What’s planned for outside, speciﬁcally proposals for the public realm, is of just as much interest. Two new public squares would be developed alongside a series of pathways to integrate the new building with the surrounding area. Tate Modern says these would connect with the Bankside Urban Park initiative being led by Better Bankside to create pocket parks and other small scale developments aimed at improving the local environment.
Tate Modern believes the proposed expansion would do just that. Since opening six years ago, its economic, architectural and cultural impact can hardly be denied. Arguably, more than any other single factor, the museum has been the catalyst for the phenomenal regeneration of the South Bank. The gallery received 110,000 visitors during the May bank holiday weekend alone and almost two million people have participated in its learning programmes. Museum chiefs claim that, aside from the “£100 million plus” that Tate Modern currently contributes annually to London’s economy, the extension would generate an extra one million visitors and more than £26 million of direct economic beneﬁts each year. “When we ﬁrst suggested making Bankside Power Station into a great museum of modern art, everyone said: ‘where is it?’,” recalls Serota. They certainly don’t say that anymore.
At present, there is no public access to Tate Modern from the south, which effectively cuts off the museum from the surrounding community. This will change if the expansion goes ahead. An entrance into the new building would open up a north-south “street” from the City across the Millennium Bridge through the Turbine Hall to Elephant and Castle, which could be open for at least 12 hours each day. “At the moment, everyone thinks of Tate Modern looking north over the river to St Paul’s Cathedral,” says Serota. “We want to gain a new front door on to Southwark.” As John East, head of planning and transport for Southwark Council, points out: “One of the main issues surrounding regeneration in Southwark is how to ensure that prosperity in the north of the borough has a positive impact further aﬁeld.”
© Hayes Davidson
Top left: The pyramidal building by night. Above Right: The Turbine Hall would link the old and the new.
The design, says Herzog, reﬂects this mixture of uses: “The convoluted world of the oil tanks is not simply the physical foundation of the new building, it is also the starting point for intellectual and curatorial approaches, which have changed to meet the needs of a contemporary museum at the beginning of the 21st century.
MIPIM: the ingredients of regeneration
With a prime location on the London Stand and a host of lively and well attended events, Southwark Council’s presence at the MIPIM property conference in Cannes earlier this year was bigger and better than ever. MIPIM is the world’s largest property show and the council attends to attract investment into the borough. With a hearty breakfast prepared by Borough Market traders using their own ﬁne produce to a hilarious and enlightening talk by local historian John Constable, it was determined to boast the week’s most innovative programme. One of the more entertaining gatherings was a debate entitled “Shaping Southwark: The Ingredients of Regeneration”, chaired by Paul Finch, CABE’s lead commissioner for London issues. Panel members who shared their views on a variety of issues with a high proﬁle audience included John East, head of planning and transport at Southwark Council; Elephant and Castle development director Chris Horn; and Rowan Moore, director of the Architecture Foundation and architecture critic for the “Evening Standard” newspaper.
Here is a snapshot of the lively exchange: On tall buildings: John East: We have no problems with tall buildings at London Bridge and Elephant and Castle. There is an ongoing debate outside these two areas. Schemes have been proposed around Blackfriars Road and at Bankside. But the debate is not just between the council and developers, it’s also with residents. If we are going to have taller buildings, we need to bring the local population along with us.
Above: The Architecture Foundation’s new building. Left: Southwark Council leader Nick Stanton and Borough Market trader Barry Topp.
Chris Horn: Has the average Londoner signed up to the London Plan as the kind of city they want to live in? Absolutely not. It’s easy for the mayor to be gungho and say “I will seize power from local authorities and make decisions they don’t feel comfortable with”, but you cannot undertake development in the face of overwhelming public opposition. You have an obligation to get out there and explain it. We have been promoting the scheme at Elephant and Castle since 2002 and I think we have a huge degree of understanding about how tall buildings can ﬁt into a pattern of development across the area. If you have a single large tower in isolation, how do you explain that? Rowan Moore: As a journalist, I backed the Gherkin, the Heron Tower and the Shard of Glass, but I always thought the London Plan was going to be spatial and I can’t see any space in it. I think towers became unpopular in the 1960s and 1970s not just because of council estates, but also because of the Hyde Park Hilton, Knightsbridge Barracks and others. I think we are in great danger of going round that boring loop again. There will be a backlash and Prince Harry will be old enough to be an architecture expert and those of us who remember when his father ﬁrst opened his mouth will go to our retirement deeply depressed.
38 39 Left: City Hall is part of the More London development.
On Borough Market: Chris Horn: With the replication of town centres across the country, Borough Market shows that you can be massively successful without conforming to the prevailing retail model. Rowan Moore on whether markets and developers can coexist successfully: This issue came to the fore at Spitalﬁelds and now at Smithﬁelds Market. Where there are collisions between large-scale development and local areas, I’d like to have that contrast stated more clearly. Why not put a bloody great ofﬁce building on stilts above Smithﬁeld? On the planning process: Chris Horn: When you take a planled approach, like we have at Elephant and Castle, you can go out and canvass opinion with market survey techniques. So when the leader of the council is getting barracked at a public meeting, you can say: “You had a rough night, but 86 per cent of people actually support this.” John East: We are developing a new Section 106 strategy for the borough, which I hope gives greater transparency to the community in terms of what they might expect and to developers in terms of what we are looking for. It is absolutely key, especially somewhere like Southwark, that local residents beneﬁt from development. Infrastructure improvement is an important area for us and it’s also in developers’ interest. Personally, I would prefer a tariff system. Southwark Issue Four
On the Architecture Foundation’s forthcoming relocation to Southwark: Rowan Moore: The presence of the Tate has played a big part in our decision to move to Bankside. On More London: Chris Horn: Pride in the area had been lost. More London has helped to redress this. On Southwark Council’s design review panel: John East: It works like a mini CABE. There are around 30 panel members who meet (not all at the same time) and comment on major schemes. We are lucky to have some very good architects living and working in Southwark.
Clockwise from top left: Rowan Moore Chris Horn, Paul Finch and John East.
The Elephant ethos
Chris Horn, development director of the £1.5 billion Elephant and Castle regeneration shares his views on the area’s transformation:
“We are creating something spectacular at Elephant and Castle, transforming what has been a deprived area – previously shunned by developers – into a fabulous destination with new homes, retail, leisure and community facilities, as well as great new open spaces. As a council, we have been leading the regeneration since 2002 addressing crucial issues such as land ownership and the strategic position occupied by the Heygate housing estate. We knew from the outset that we had to be very clear about what we wanted to achieve and how.”
40 41 “There can be no more false dawns for the residents here. Elephant’s potential with its central location, excellent transport links and proximity to the City, the South Bank and the West End was crying out to be realised. We are lucky to have support from the overwhelming majority of local people. Our plan-led approach has ensured that consultation has been ongoing and intensive. It’s great to see things begin to happen – planning over a long term is bad for the soul. Residents moved into the ﬁrst new homes at Wansey Street in September, work is about to begin on a new park in St Mary’s Churchyard and planning
permission has been granted on mixed-use schemes from Multiplex and Oakmayne Properties with an investment value of £200 million. Eleven of our 15 remaining housing sites (Wansey Street is now complete) are being designed and the architectural panel process is going really well and we hope to select a development partner from the three shortlisted bidders by the start of next year. It’s hard to overstate the turnaround in Elephant and Castle over the last ﬁve years. There is still a long way to go, but we’re on our way.”
The Elephant and Castle team.
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‘Groundbreaking’ Section 106 helps local businesses
Search for commercial partner nears completion
BEX award for Elephant team
Businesses in Elephant and Castle’s 1960s shopping centre will be offered discounted trading space in Oakmayne Properties forthcoming £100 million mixed-use development.
A commercial partner for the £1.5 billion regeneration of Elephant and Castle should be announced early in 2007. Southwark Council has released ﬁnal stage documents to the three shortlisted development teams: Key Property Investments (a joint venture between St Modwen and Salhia), Lend Lease Europe (in collaboration with First Base and Oakmayne Properties), and Oceancrest (a consortium of Blackfriars Investments, Le Frak Organisation, Chelsﬁeld Partners and Glebe Holdings).
The Elephant and Castle development team received yet another accolade in June winning a prestigious international masterplanning award at the Building Exchange symposium in Madrid. The second place award was for Southwark Council’s development framework for Elephant and Castle, which was adopted in February 2004 following extensive public consultation. Kura Perkins from the Elephant and Castle team received the award, thanking the council’s professional consultant team that included Foster and Partners, Make Architects, planning consultants Tibbalds, Gehl Architects and Space Syntax.
Under the “groundbreaking” Section 106 agreement for the Elephant Road scheme – which is set to include a 214 room hotel, ﬁve-screen arts cinema, 219 homes and ﬁve restaurants – all 15 retail units will be offered on a ﬁrst refusal basis to businesses in the existing shopping centre. Five of these outlets and one restaurant will be affordable business units offering stepped rents to enable adjustment during the transition period. Councillor Richard Thomas, executive member for regeneration, said: “Seventy per cent of local business have told us they want to continue trading in the Elephant and Castle area. Brokering planning deals is one of the ways that we can enable this. As far as we know this is unique - an agreement of this type hasn’t been tried elsewhere.” Elephant’s infamous shopping centre is due to be demolished in 2010 as part of the £1.5 billion regeneration. For more on the Oakmayne Properties scheme see article on pages 46 to 49.
Below: Elephant and Castle shopping centre.
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The developers’ submissions must reach Southwark Council by October 31 2006.
Below: The regeneration is supported by 80 per cent of residents.
Left: Castle House will have 43 storeys. Below: Oakmayne Properties plan a new market square.
Who would have believed back in the late 1990s that developers would soon be queuing up to invest in Elephant and Castle? Although the area’s location, a stone’s throw from the City, Waterloo and the West End has long been admired, its inhospitable road system, sprawling housing estates, 1960s architecture and myriad social problems had kept even the most visionary property gurus at bay. Fast forward to 2006 and with a £1.5 billion regeneration scheme addressing these barriers to progress, Elephant and Castle has the development industry doing just that. In March, Southwark Council granted planning approval for two massive new schemes by Multiplex and Oakmayne Properties. Work is due to begin onsite by the turn of the year with completion expected in 2009. Multiplex, in partnership with Espalier, is developing Castle House, a £100 million 43-storey residential skyscraper at the eastern end of Walworth Road. The 147 metre high tower and accompanying ﬁvestorey pavilion will contain 408 homes, 30 per cent of which will be affordable. Hamilton Associates’ stunning glass design incorporates three roof-based wind turbines intended to generate enough electricity to light the entire building and cut residents’ energy costs by 40 per cent. Rob Partington, director Southwark Issue Four
Elephant and Castle: the two towers
of Hamilton Associates, describes Castle House as “the ﬁrst in a new generation of buildings that embraces the spirit of sustainable design”. The development will also feature a retail component around its base and vastly improve the surrounding public realm. “Who would live in a house like this?” one might ask. Multiplex development manager Justin Black thinks he knows the answer. “We believe the apartments are likely to appeal to young professionals who want to live in town but have been priced out of similar high quality landmark developments in central London,” he says. “From the outset, our aim was to create and deliver an exemplar residential building to act both as a catalyst for the regeneration of Elephant and Castle and set the benchmark in terms of quality, energy efﬁciency and sustainable design. I believe we have achieved this.” Meanwhile, Oakmayne Properties has plans for an ambitious mixeduse development on Elephant Road including a 214 room hotel, ﬁve-screen arts cinema, 219 homes, restaurants and shops spilling onto a bustling market square. The £100 million scheme will comprise three towers ranging from 12 to 21 storeys designed by PKS Architects around a new plaza with a “Covent
Garden-style” market for up to 100 traders. Crucially, the development will offer retail space, on favourable terms, to existing businesses trading in Elephant and Castle. Straddling railway arches that have historically divided Walworth Road from Elephant’s main shopping area, Oakmayne Plaza will also be crucial to Southwark Council’s vision for a new integrated neighbourhood. “This is a complicated and challenging development that has taken a long time to come together,” says Martin Lent director at Oakmayne Properties. “We always wanted to create something spectacular on this site and by including uses such as the arts cinema, really make it the starting point for the entire regeneration of Elephant and Castle.” As Elephant and Castle development director Chris Horn observes, investment on this scale demonstrates how much industry conﬁdence surrounds the £1.5 billion regeneration. “It’s difﬁcult to overstate the turnaround here since 1999,” he says. “The £200 million investment from these two schemes alone is probably more than the area has witnessed over the past 20 years.” He identiﬁes Southwark Council’s plan-led approach as one of the key elements in this reversal of fortune. In February 2004,
48 49 Above: Three roof based wind turbines will cut energy costs
Above: A close-up of the proposed Oakmayne scheme.
it endorsed a development framework for Elephant and Castle detailing exactly what would be created there and how this would be achieved.
Lent agrees: “We have always believed in Elephant and Castle because of its location and accessibility. But the fact that Southwark Council has been so keen to help developers along with its proactive approach to the regeneration process, made us think: ‘we really have to be involved here’.”
“Southwark Council’s inspiring but deliverable vision for the future of Elephant and Castle as well as the area’s identiﬁcation within the adopted planning guidelines as a potential location for tall buildings inﬂuenced our decision to invest,” notes Black. “Elephant and Castle already has the diversity, local amenities and public transport links to make it one of central London’s most vibrant areas to live and work. Implementation of the regeneration masterplan will only cement that position.” “Oakmayne and Multiplex both purchased their sites since 2004,” says Horn. “We produced a clear blueprint in which developers could have conﬁdence – you don’t agree to build over 400 residential units or a hotel or a cinema lightly.”
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It’s also interesting to note, that the inclusion of tall buildings at Elephant and Castle hasn’t attracted the public outcry experienced by other high proﬁle regeneration projects. “This is a place-making regeneration, creating a new town centre, so it makes sense that Elephant and Castle’s landmark buildings should be visible from some distance,” says Horn. “With its location and strategic position as a public transport hub, the logic behind a cluster of tall buildings is really compelling. Again, going back to the plan-led approach, local people have seen the vision develop and they understand the context and the rationale. We have consulted widely and have the backing of at least 80 per cent of the community.”
The “two towers” could soon become three as developer First Base prepares to unveil exciting high rise plans for its London Park Hotel site (see below). It’s likely that yet more ambitious proposals for Elephant and Castle will follow. But for now, the ﬁrst physical signs of its spectacular transformation are about to take shape. London Park Hotel: the third tower?
Developer First Base is preparing to submit a 500 residential unit, mixed-use scheme for planning approval on the site of the disused London Park Hotel in Elephant and Castle. The Richard Rogers-designed scheme is likely to be of similar height to the 147 metre Castle House and could also feature a library, a theatre (Southwark Playhouse is considering relocating here) and a cafe/ bar/restaurant component.
Pursuing happiness: the architecture panel gets to work In his best-selling book “The Architecture of Happiness”, Alain de Botton writes: “I used to walk past this block of ﬂats and wonder who could have built that. What were they thinking?” Although the philosopher is referring to some rather uninspiring homes in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, sadly he could be commenting on many areas across the country. Southwark Council is approaching the residential element of its £1.5 billion Elephant and Castle regeneration – including demolition of the sprawling Heygate Estate and rehousing of its residents – mindful of such sentiments and with a determination to learn
Top: The ﬁrst new housing at Elephant and Castle. Left: Wansey Street close-up. Opposite top: Harper Road. Opposite below: Townsend Street.
50 51 from past mistakes. Based on the premise that a lack of “good” design is responsible for the “what were they thinking?” incredulity expressed by de Botton and others, it has separated the housing association and architectural procurement processes. The old “design and build” formula has been discarded in favour of a brave, new design-focused world. Seventeen specially selected architecture practices have formed a competition panel to bid to create Elephant and Castle’s 5,300 new and replacement homes across 16 designated sites. Successful architects are being matched with housing associations from two consortia chosen by Southwark Council following an extensive procurement exercise (for a full listing of the architects and housing associations involved see page 53). Architects have now been appointed to design homes across 11 of the remaining 15 housing sites at Elephant and Castle (Wansey Street is now complete) following submissions to a panel of council ofﬁcers, Heygate Estate residents and the approved housing associations. All 15 sites will have design proposals by the start of 2007. Featherstone Associates is designing about 22 units on Leroy Street. “We
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began by discovering more about the local community and talking to residents,” says director Sarah Featherstone. “There is a strong community spirit and we want to protect that. As a result, we have included different types of public space and scattered the apartments and maisonettes around the site within buildings that look like tall houses.” A planning application is due to be submitted this autumn. The winning designs so far reﬂect the diversity and innovation that Southwark Council set out to achieve. “The quality has been so high,” says Elephant and Castle development director Chris Horn. “I hope our approach is a wake-up call to housing associations everywhere; that in designing social housing you can produce buildings to be proud of. So far, it’s working like a dream.” Joseph Marinescu of Metaphorm Architecture and Design echoes these views. “We were attracted to the emphasis Southwark Council placed on design quality,” he says. “They have set architects and housing associations on an equal footing rather than following the traditional hierarchy.” Metaphorm will design around 25 units on Brandon Street. Marinescu says the colourful new homes, which are all individual in size
and shape, acknowledge the context of the surrounding area yet still create a “moment of surprise”. The 17 shortlisted architects (selected from more than 80 applications) include small and medium sized practices some of which have no previous experience in designing social housing. “What they all come with,” says Horn, “is a lack of preconception as to what social housing should be”.
The 11 new housing sites under design at the Elephant and Castle regeneration are: Brandon Street: Metaphorm Architecture and Design Prospect House: Sarah Wigglesworth Architects Leroy Street: Featherstone Associates Pocock Street: KMK Architects Welsford Street: Loates Taylor Shannon Associates Harper Road site two: de Rijke Marsh Morgan New Kent Road: s333 Townsend Street: Loates Taylor Shannon Royal Road: Panter Hudspith Cartwright Newington South: Cartwright Pickard
It would seem de Botton himself is supportive of Southwark Council’s plans: “This is clearly the way forward,” he says. “Developers should be forced to work with good architects. Successful architecture isn’t rocket science. Good places are all about housing that is pleasing to the eye, that is properly coordinated, that is safe, that isn’t arrogant and yet is still ambitious architecturally.” “The Architecture of Happiness” (which became a three-hour Channel Four documentary “The Perfect Home”) looks at how architecture inﬂuences mood and behaviour. This is a subject Horn feels strongly about. “If you look around the country there are some dire examples of housing with no regard for place or design. Design and build contracts have been pared down to the minimum standards necessary to gain planning permission. This has led to a standardisation in social housing design, invariably a cost-cutting exercise for contractors, which pays no attention to context and eschews the natural pattern of cities which inevitably vary across streets and blocks. This process has also seen segregation in housing tenures that we intend to reintegrate as part of the Elephant and Castle regeneration.” The Elephant and Castle team can look with some conﬁdence to the recently completed 31-unit Wansey Street scheme, Southwark Issue Four
a forerunner for the new procurement process. Residents arrived in September at the apartments designed by de Rijke Marsh Morgan (dRMM). “If you look at the original drawings, the ﬁnished homes are just as fantastic,” says Horn.
The 17 architecture practices bidding to design homes at Elephant and Castle are: 01. Panter Hudspith Architects 02. Glenn Howells Architects 03. Proctor and Matthews 04. Cartwright Pickard Architects 05. Glas Architects 06. Featherstone Associates
dRMM director Philip Marsh says the practice is “delighted” with the project. “We feel that throughout the design development and construction process we have been able to maintain the vision, working with the continued support of Southern Housing Group and Southwark Council to create contemporary homes that prioritise space, light and views,” he says. Thirty one units down, just another 5,269 to go at the Elephant and Castle regeneration. The challenge is to maintain the overwhelmingly positive response from Wansey Street’s new residents across these homes and the decade of development ahead.
Below: Pocock Street. Right: Brandon Street.
07. Haworth Tompkins 08. Loates Taylor Shannon 09. de Rijke Marsh Morgan 10. Niall McLaughlin Architects 11. Riches Hawley Mikhail Architects 12. The AOC 13. Metaphorm Architecture and Design 14. s333 15. Sarah Wigglesworth Architects 16. KmK Architects 17. FAT
The two preferred housing consortia are: 01. Urban Choice: Family Housing Association and Afﬁnity Housing Group 02. London and Quadrant, Wandle Housing Association and Guinness Trust
Harper Road: Haworth Tompkins Architects
The Energy Centre at Elephant and Castle will include an education facility.
Green and clean “It’s simple to express but hugely difﬁcult to achieve,” says Elephant and Castle development director Chris Horn. “Although ﬂoorspace will rise by 270 per cent as a result of this regeneration, carbon emissions will stay the same. All development will be carbon neutral.” Southwark Council is establishing a multi-utility services company (MUSCo) to provide a self sustaining heating, cooling and electricity system for the thousands of additional homes and businesses planned for Elephant and Castle. Expressions of interest have been invited from potential bidders with a partner(s) due to be selected by late 2007. The MUSCo will develop sustainable infrastructure on a scale unprecedented
in the UK. It will include the supply of “green” water extracted via boreholes for non-drinking uses such as toilet ﬂushing and irrigation, connecting the entire development with a highbandwidth ﬁbre-optic cable network, using renewable energy sources and combined heat and power, and providing automated waste management.
into the plans for Elephant and Castle before a brick is laid.”
“We have made a commitment to keep carbon emissions to their current levels despite almost tripling the number of homes and businesses in Elephant and Castle,” says councillor Richard Thomas, Southwark Council’s executive member for regeneration. “This means coming up with creative ways of providing locally generated heat and power. We are in a unique position to be able to build this
Allan Jones, head of the London Climate Change Agency, says that Elephant and Castle is setting environmental standards: “The proposals for the tri-generation and renewable energy system, together with the sustainable water system, is just the approach we are looking for to reduce London’s carbon footprint. They could set the benchmark for other developments.”
Two combined heat and power plants will be constructed and linked to individual sites and buildings. They are likely to be powered by gas initially but will move to energy from renewable sources in the future.
Physical, social and economic regeneration in the London Borough of Southwark