Issue Three Winter/Spring 2006
INSIDE — REGENERATION GETS FASHIONABLE: ZANDRA RHODES ON SOUTHWARK • THE UDP VISION CHANGING TIMES ON THE AYLESBURY ESTATE • REGENERATION TURNS THEATRICAL
Welcome to Southwark Southwark The ofﬁcial regeneration magazine of Southwark Council Editor Julie Mackintosh firstname.lastname@example.org Head of Sales George Haynes email@example.com Managing Director Toby Fox firstname.lastname@example.org Design Wire www.wiredesign.com Printed by Wyndeham Grange Images Southwark Council, Wire Design, Land Securities, BL Canada Quays, Jody Kingzett, Sellar Property Group, More London, Gross Max, Make, Shangri-la Hotels, Fashion and Textile Museum, Dan Macarrie for Levitt Bernstein, Tate Modern, DIVE Architects, Southwark Playhouse, Broadway Malayan, Patrick Baldwin, Unicorn Theatre. For Southwark Council Chiltern House Portland Street London SE17 2ES Communications Manager Rachel Fox email@example.com Publisher
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Southwark Issue Three
Welcome to the third issue of Southwark, Southwark Council’s ofﬁcial regeneration magazine. Southwark stretches from the world famous South Bank to leafy Dulwich and encompassing Bermondsey, Walworth, Peckham and the Rotherhithe Peninsula. Its an enviable central London location and we have a development programme to match, arguably the most exciting and diverse in the country: from the £1.5 billion Elephant and Castle scheme (pages 42 to 54) and the redevelopment of the Aylesbury Estate (pages 36 to 39), to the mixeduse transformation planned for Canada Water and the 200,000 square metre Bermondsey Spa (pages 16 to 23), this is a borough committed to creating a better life for its residents. With 40 per cent of Southwark covered by current or planned regeneration programmes, there are plenty of opportunities available to the right developers and other partners. Over the last decade, the borough has gone from strength to strength; however much work remains to be done to combat the high levels of unemployment, beneﬁt dependency, ill health and crime and the low educational attainment that still remain in some areas. We will achieve this, in part, through successful regeneration (see an indepth feature on Southwark Council’s programme on pages 16 to 23), but also by attracting businesses here. Excellent transport links and proximity to the City make Southwark the perfect business location. This process is well under way, most notably through More London and Bankside 123 (pages 24 to 27), as well as several other major schemes at various stages of completion.
With its rich cultural and leisure offer (think Tate Modern, the Design Museum and the Southwark Playhouse), the borough has an atmosphere that purpose-built developments in other parts of the capital just cannot match. With the example of our renowned Borough Market, we take a look at how the cultural experience can help in the regeneration process (pages 28 to 31). Place-making architecture is also raising Southwark’s proﬁle. Southwark Council is committed to bringing to the borough the most innovative and stimulating buildings in Britain. London Bridge Tower will be Europe’s tallest on its scheduled completion in 2009. Its architect Renzo Piano discusses his views on The Shard and Southwark on pages 32 and 33. 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 four will be published this summer. Until then... Paul Evans Director of Regeneration Southwark Council
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Contents 06 News Catch up with the latest regeneration news in Southwark. WALWORTH
10 Shaping Southwark: The bigger picture Southwark’s regeneration programme is an ongoing story. But as we ﬁnd out, it’s quite a long one. 16 Southwark: Building for the future From Bankside to Peckham, Southwark is home to the country’s most exciting regeneration projects. We report on the progress so far and look at what the schemes are trying to achieve: a better future for people in the borough. 24 Business comes home to the borough A clutch of high proﬁle ofﬁce developments are making Southwark, London’s hottest new business location. 28 Taking Southwark to market Lively, engaging and place-making, markets are playing an active role in the borough’s regeneration. 32 On Southwark Dummy text Lively, engaging and place-making, markets are playing an active role in the borough’s regeneration. Lively, engaging and place-making, markets are playing an active role in the borough’s regeneration.
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36 A new future for the Aylesbury The subject of so much publicity, the 285,000 square metre Aylesbury Estate is set for demolition and redevelopment. We ﬁnd out how Southwark Council plans to replace the infamous estate. 40 Cheap and chic in Southwark Affordable housing is big business and, as Southwark is proving, it can be innovative and stylish too. 42 Elephant and Castle News What’s going on at the £1.5 billion regeneration scheme? 48 Developing for the future With an development partner about to be selected at Elephant and Castle, we take a look at the unsual process that got Southwark Council here. 52 Dancing down to the Elephant The arrival of the Siobhan Davies Dance Company is a big step in Elephant and Castle’s bid to be London’s new cultural hotspot. 54 Round and about *Exciting times ahead, as the Southern roundabout removal gets the go-ahead.
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Canada Quays advert
Canada Quays advert
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Shaping Southwark: the bigger picture Regeneration in Southwark is about Elephant and Castle. But it’s about a lot more besides, covering over 40 per cent of the borough. The whole is deﬁnitely more than the sum of its parts. From the transformation of the rundown South Bank into a world leading tourist and cultural destination with icons such as Borough Market, the Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern, to the opening of Charter School in Dulwich and the demolition of Peckham’s most notorious housing estates, Southwark has staked its claim as London’s most diverse and exciting borough. George Nicholson, chairman of trustees of the fabulous Borough Market, agrees: “Ten years ago no one thought of Southwark as tourist location. Now the South Bank is full of great initiatives from Butler’s Wharf, The Globe, and Tate Modern through to the Oxo Tower and Gabriel’s Wharf. Most boroughs would give their hind teeth for one of them.” Or as Alice Rawsthorn, director of the Design Museum, points out: “Southwark has a fantastic history, ever since the 16th century when it was the decadent home of London’s renegade theatres. It is even more exciting today as London’s cultural quarter and the home of dozens of different arts organisations from Tate Modern and the Design Museum, to the Jerwood Space and the new Unicorn Theatre. How could anyone be bored in this borough?” The Jubilee Line Extension of the London Underground, which opened
in 1999, connects the borough with the West End and Canary Wharf. This, alongside excellent bus links and train services to London Bridge and nearby Waterloo, perhaps accounts for the growth of Southwark as a business location: major ofﬁce-led developments at Bankside 123, More London and Palestra are at various stages of completion. Meanwhile, there are several planning applications for mixed-use developments around Blackfriars Bridge. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. Transport connections are set to improve further with the proposed extension to the East London Line and a tram linking Camden with Peckham and Brixton, via King’s Cross and Waterloo, by 2011. Southwark Council is, through joint venture partnerships, leading large scale mixed-use regeneration projects with a value of more than £2 billion at Elephant and Castle, Bermondsey Spa and Canada Water. All aim, over various timescales, to build better communities with homes and facilities for existing and new residents, businesses and visitors. City Academy, a new school which opened in Bermondsey last September, is one such example; the new community facility at Spa Gardens is another (see pages 16 to 23). As well as the schemes already under way, the development pipeline is full. Peckham town centre is set for a revamp, while the area around Old Kent Road
is likely to experience considerable improvements. Perhaps most exciting is the decision to redevelop the 285,000 square metre Aylesbury Estate. The Aylesbury, often held by politicians and the media to be the embodiment of all that is wrong with inner-city architecture, will become a mixed-tenure, mixed-use community that bears no resemblance to today’s grey monolith. As detailed on pages 36 to 39, Southwark Council is working to ensure that tenants will end up with the best quality housing and, crucially, that the process itself causes as little disruption as possible.
economic change into social change.” Or, in other words, ensuring that the beneﬁts of recent commercial interest reach all sectors of the community.
As Steve Platts, Southwark Council’s head of property, acknowledges: “Construction can be disruptive to people’s lives. Part of our job is to sell the vision and the beneﬁts of regeneration in the long term and to recognise the difﬁculties that the community might face.”
Evans says the council understands that successful regeneration is about blending the social and the commercial for the good of all in the borough. To that end the regeneration team is promoting various projects, such as Local Enterprise Growth Initiatives to fund business incubators in priority districts; another scheme, Building London Creating Futures, places advisors in key locations such as GP surgeries to provide
Evans echoes these sentiments and adds: “The most difﬁcult part of regeneration is translating high level physical and
Southwark is still one of London’s most deprived boroughs, characterised in parts by high levels of unemployment, beneﬁt dependency, ill health and crime and by low educational attainment. However, progress has been made. In 2003, for example, 36 per cent of pupils in Southwark schools achieved ﬁve or more A*-C grade GCSEs, a rise of seven percent from 1998.
information on issues including training and education. Even more ambitious is Southwark 2016, the council’s 10-year community strategy. Its goal is to “promote everyone’s talents and aspirations, encourage mutual respect and tolerance, and contribute to all our citizens having healthy, safe and fulﬁlling lives.” A high proﬁle advertisement campaign began last year, encouraging residents to respond with their views on the council’s plans. The conclusions of this public consultation are due to be published in July and Southwark magazine will report on its ﬁndings in forthcoming issues. The borough is home to some of the capital’s, if not the country’s, most memorable buildings, from the London Assembly to Stirling Prize-winning Peckham Library. Although the council has proved that it is open to exciting development and innovative architectural proposals (the 310 metrehigh London Bridge Tower, for example),
Southwark fact ﬁle: Southwark Council was formed in 1965 from the metropolitan boroughs Bermondsey, Southwark and Camberwell. It stretches from the banks of the Thames at London Bridge SE1 to Dulwich SE26. The population is estimated at just under 255,000. This is expected to rise to 285,000 in ﬁve years. Southwark’s population is relatively young, ﬁve years younger than the English average, with one in ﬁve of the population below the age of 15. 62 percent of Southwark’s population is white; 38 percent is from a black or minority ethnic community. 42 percent of Southwark residents are council tenants, against an Englandwide ﬁgure of 13.2 percent.
planners demand stringent design and construction standards. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. QUOTE. At the Elephant and Castle regeneration, the formulaic design and build format has been abandoned in favour of a preselected panel of 16 architectural practices bidding to develop its 5,000 new and replacement homes with preselected housing associations. Similarly, any schemes that are contrary to Southwark’s Unitary Development Plan aren’t likely to progress too far. The council is responsible for protecting the long term future of the borough. “We project there will be 400,000 residents in Southwark in 40 years [there are currently around 255,000],” says Tim Thompson, Southwark Council’s principal projects surveyor. “Sustainability is key in the areas of health, air quality, the environment and education. We Southwark Issue Three
are moving towards buildings that are carbon neutral, insisting on the inclusion of facilities such as health centres, child care centres and schools in major projects.” And, of course, affordable housing – see pages 40 and 41. “Southwark certainly is a place where developers want to be. However, they understand the standards that we expect. Too many councils still accept rubbish,” continues Thompson. Some might say that Southwark is in a stronger position than most to dictate terms. However, Evans believes that clear guidelines on what is likely to gain planning approval, and the emphasis placed by the council on public consultation, are what set the borough apart. “The more communication there is between our planners, developers and local residents, the more chance we have of producing schemes that will beneﬁt the whole community,” he says.
If the physical redevelopments are one dimension, and the population another, the third dimension in Southwark’s regeneration picture is time. And lots of it. As indicated above, the regeneration team is looking at providing for population growth over a 40-year period. Southwark’s regeneration programme began in the 1990s; already-proposed and underway developments span the next 20 years at least. Those with short attention spans need not apply. “It’s quite an investment of time, but our story is well under way,” muses Southwark Council’s director of regeneration, Paul Evans. “We can reﬂect on some great achievements, are currently involved in some very exciting projects and can look forward to bringing yet more positive change to the borough in the future.”
Southwark: building for the future
Southwark Council is presiding over a £2 billion-plus regeneration programme that most local authorities can only dream of. In addition, private developers are queuing up to invest in the borough. But amid the cranes and the grand designs, the original goal remains as clear as ever: to create a better future for the people who live in Southwark. On September 5 last year, the City of London Academy moved into state-of-art buildings on Lynton Road in Bermondsey. Sponsored by the Corporation of London and built on land supplied by Southwark Council, the 1,200-place secondary school is aspiring to academic excellence, boasting top-class technological facilities and offering a full range of county competition-level sports amenities. The new academy is proving extremely popular: there are already 1,300 applicants for the 180 Year Seven places available from this September. Politicians have taken notice too: Prime Minister Tony Blair paid a “low proﬁle” visit shortly after the opening. Studio E Architects designed the academy, which was a challenging project in many respects. Director Andrzej Kuszell says one of the main considerations was Southwark Issue Three
combining the business and enterprise focus of the new school (as per the Corporation of London brief) with “an element of exuberance and fun”. The compact nature of the site actually worked to the architect’s advantage. Building “deep plan” and over ﬁve storeys, Studio E’s design incorporates an atrium and a courtyard providing a focus for the school as well as natural light and ventilation. Extensive frameless glazed screens and carefully planned circulation routes add to the transparency of the building. “The academy is at the forefront of the ongoing debate as to how schools should be designed,” says Kuszell. “It incorporates lots of ideas, particularly that of open-plan teaching. The feedback has been excellent. One of the teachers said the kids ‘walked tall’ as soon as they arrived at the new building.” The design and construction team (contractor Wilmott Dixon built the academy) were assembled early under a “partnering contract”, which helped to ensure the project was delivered on time and within budget. Despite transformation in the north of the borough over the last few years, parts of Bermondsey have yet to feel the beneﬁts
of change. “It is only one mile from the City, Europe’s ﬁnancial heart, but they are worlds apart,” says Tim Thompson, Southwark Council’s principal projects surveyor. “There has been lots of private development, particularly of studio and one-bedroom apartments, but we wanted a school to be built on this land to provide a real aspirational change for kids in the area. And, if we are to encourage the construction of family homes, community facilities need to be in place.” The power of education in promoting regeneration is widely acknowledged – good schools increase the appeal of an area, arguably more than any other single contributing factor. The opening of the academy in Bermondsey complements the wider £500 million mixed-use Bermondsey Spa regeneration, spanning 20 development sites and 200,000 square metres. The award-winning scheme aims to revitalise the area through an innovative mix of 2,000 new homes, shops, health centres, community facilities and open spaces. Simple in theory, but logistically a massive task. Yet work is progressing well, with 13 sites at various stages of completion and the entire project due to be ready by 2011. 16 17
‘The award-winning scheme aims to revitalise the area’ The ﬁrst major element of the Bermondsey Spa regeneration, the £2 million Spa Park redevelopment, opened in February. Southwark Council is pleased that the park – which is also home to a new community facility, offering play areas for both pre-school and school-aged children – is available to residents so early in the development programme. “Construction work is disruptive. It’s important that the community can enjoy the beneﬁts as soon as possible and can see that we are serious about reinvestment,” says Thompson.
approach is similar to Barcelona, or London’s Soho, and describes the plans for Site C as “intimate, high density, and diverse”. Sam Holden of Glenn Howells says: “Our proposals create a series of interconnected public spaces that form the backdrop for a mix of activities. These spaces will have different characters – some residential, some civic – whilst others such as restaurants will have more active uses to spread life onto the street. The approach aims to create a place where people can live and work in a vibrant but safe environment, structured by public space that is inviting.”
One of the most exciting, and largest, developments in Bermondsey Spa is the 36,425 square metre Site C. Glenn Howells Architects has created a blueprint for the area which is about to be submitted to the council’s executive. Site C, on which construction could begin in 2008, is set to have a “village feel” while combining a full mix of uses. Thompson, who says feedback from residents has been excellent, believes the stylistic
Over at Site A, the ﬁrst house sales are on the way. Housing Association Hyde Housing, in conjunction with Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects, is constructing 73 one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes – 42 per cent of which will be reserved for affordable housing and key workers – and an eight-doctor health centre. Marketing on these properties is scheduled to beg in mid-April and they could be complete
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by the end of the year, according to Iain McPherson, principal development manager at Hyde Housing. “Bermondsey is an up and coming area,” says McPherson, who believes that a mix of people will be attracted to the SE1 development. Also under construction are the ﬁve linked sites around Jamaica Road that will deliver 644 homes in four phases. The project by architect Levitt Bernstein recently received a RIBA Housing Design Award. More than 200 apartments will be built during the ﬁrst phase, which is due for completion in August next year; however, a show suite should be ready as early as this October. The second tranche will have an eight-doctor GP surgery and 114 apartments, while the third phase is expected to include 264 homes and a small supermarket, which is already attracting lots of interest from potential operators.
‘ Our thorough community consultation means we are working as a team, not just with the council, but with the whole community, to create a scheme which has the support of the majority of the people living in the area.’
The transformation of Bermondsey will be further aided by the £36 million development at Bermondsey Square. Igloo Regeneration (part of Morley Fund Management) is leading the scheme in partnership with developer Urban Catalyst. Construction work was due to begin just as Southwark magazine went to press, after revised planning permission and a land transfer deal were secured late last year. Bermondsey Square sits on the site of the 10th Century Bermondsey Abbey, a scheduled ancient monument, so extensive archaeological investigations had to be completed before building could begin. Construction will be phased around the New Caledonia Antiques Market, which is based at Bermondsey Square and will continue to operate throughout. Once the regeneration is complete, the market should have a brand new home. Designed by Munkbeck & Marshall, Bermondsey Square will deliver 63 apartments (25 per cent of which will be affordable), commercial space, a three-star hotel, a small supermarket and two or three restaurants. Local company Shortwave Films is set to operate an arthouse cinema and ﬁlm production company onsite. Igloo Regeneration director Chris Brown says discussions are now under way with potential operators for the supermarket, restaurants and the hotel as well as with prospective Registered Social Landlords. He expects Bermondsey Square to be open for business by Autumn 2007. A couple of miles to the east, British Land and Canada Quays’ 162,000 square metre plan to transform Canada Water on the Rotherhithe Peninsula was approved by Southwark Council’s executive committee last October. This followed extensive masterplanning and public consultation (over 200 meetings have taken place) by BL Canada Quays, which was selected as the council’s preferred development partner in July 2003. The team has now submitted an outline blueprint to the planning department for two sites and was awaiting its decision as Southwark magazine went to press.
The overall vision for Canada Water includes a library, leisure facilities, retail and new public spaces located around the Canada Water dock. There are plans for 2,800 homes of differing size and tenure, of which 35 per cent will be affordable. They will be complemented by almost 10,000 square metres of new ofﬁce, business start-up and live-work space. Of this, the sites submitted for planning contain over 800 residential units, a new library and community resource centre, ofﬁce accommodation earmarked for a Southwark Council housing ofﬁce, retail space and studio workshops. “This is the next step forward in the regeneration of Canada Water,” says David Taylor, director of BL Canada Quays. “Our thorough community consultation means we are working as a team, not just with the council, but with the whole community, to create a scheme which has the support of the majority of the people living in the area.” Piers Gough of CZWG is designing the library, one of the ﬁrst buildings due to be completed at Canada Water. QUOTE FROM PIERS. QUOTE FROM PIERS. QUOTE FROM PIERS. QUOTE FROM PIERS. QUOTE FROM PIERS. QUOTE FROM PIERS. QUOTE FROM PIERS. QUOTE FROM PIERS. One question often asked in relation to Southwark’s regeneration programme is: when will it be over? “Never,” says Steve Platts, Southwark Council’s head of property. And he’s only half joking. “The programme of current and planned development is set to run for more than 20 years and there are areas of the borough that have yet to experience change.”
already considerable portfolio. “We are particularly pleased with the progress of Canada Water and Bermondsey Spa,” says Pearce. “The market is livelier and showing more interest now than at any time during the last two years. Southwark Council has shown its ability to deliver.” He believes that Southwark’s success lies in an ability to harness its enviable geographical location, along with new transport links, and to balance developer pressure with strong leadership.
As Pearce points out, the council, the market and, of course, Southwark’s residents, can only sustain certain levels of development at any given time. The demolition and redevelopment of the 2,750-unit Aylesbury Estate was approved by Southwark Council’s executive committee last September, adding a further 285,000 square metres to the regeneration department’s
With several major projects now well under way, attention in 2006 is likely to shift to the Aylesbury redevelopment (see pages 36 to 39); new and potential developments around Old Kent Southwark Issue Three
Road (a new Lidl supermarket with accompanying incubator space has recently opened); and improvements in Peckham, especially to the town’s retail offer.,. Plans to revitalise Peckham town centre are now a priority and Pearce conﬁrms that “active negotiations with major retailers” are ongoing. The leisure offer will be improved too, bringing new restaurants, sports facilities and amenities to create a vibrant destination. Peckham, says Pearce, is one of the borough’s most successful examples of regeneration. Over £300 million has been spent on initiatives to improve the area’s prospects and reputation, ﬁrst through the Peckham Partnership and now 20 21
via the Peckham Programme. Estates and tower blocks including the North Peckham and Camden buildings have been demolished and replaced with over 2,000 new council, private and housing association homes, built at low level to traditional street patterns. Facilities such as the Stirling Prize-winning Peckham Library and the Peckham Pulse leisure centre are forerunners to the proposed regeneration of the town centre. A housing renewal programme in the Bellenden area – which includes contributions from locals such as Turner Prize-winning sculptor Antony Gormley and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes – has upgraded 1,200 homes and created a funky new shopping and restaurant hub. A further 12,000 homes in Nunhead and East Peckham are now earmarked for the same treatment.
‘Unemployment has dropped by almost 30 per cent in the last decade, while community safety drives have halved the fear of crime in the area.’
Work does remain to be done and Peckham’s complex problems will take many years to resolve. However, educational and social initiatives have seen literacy rates at key stage two improve by 126 per cent in Peckham schools, while the proportion of pupils gaining ﬁve or more GCSE passes has risen by 114 per cent. Unemployment has dropped by almost 30 per cent in the last decade, while community safety drives have halved the fear of crime in the area. Last year, Peckham topped a list of Britain’s 20 most creative hotspots in a book called CreativeWorld. SE15 was judged to be the leader among “places that encourage a social, creative and cultural mix”. Okay, it’s only an award; but for an area that was characterised by high levels of crime, sprawling estates and a “no go” reputation just a decade ago, this really is an achievement. And it is a great advertisement for the regeneration process. “There are green shoots, these are welcome and we will nurture them,” says head of the Peckham Programme, Russell Proﬁtt. “It’s great that people love what’s going on here and that they relate to it, but there is always another side to the story and we must to respond to this. We are beginning to turn the corner and people are choosing to live and work here.” Southwark Issue Three
Mind your own business Southwark’s excellent transport links, exciting opportunities and rich cultural offer have made it London’s hottest business location. And the rental prices are surprisingly reasonable too.
What is it? A 280,000 square metre development between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, which includes up to 186,000 square metres of Grade A ofﬁce space over seven Foster-designed buildings.
What is it? A 27,800 square metre, ofﬁce-led scheme designed by Will Alsop on Blackfriars Road, opposite Southwark underground station. Palestra will be ready for occupation by mid-2006.
What is it? Land Securities is developing around 86,000 square metres of ofﬁce space across three buildings linked by new public spaces behind Tate Modern.
What makes it special? The glass dominated structures occupy a stunning location overlooking the River Thames. The development’s focal point is “The Scoop”, a sunken amphitheatre with seating for 800, which regularly hosts a variety of free events.
What makes it special? Developer Blackfriars Investments decided to build ?? storey Palestra speculatively, the capital’s largest speculative development in recent years. A calculated risk, it has paid off. Palestra’s design is iconic; a colourful glass box with ﬂoorplates up to 2,700 square metres.
How’s it going? Great, it’s almost complete. More London’s ﬁrst tenants were Mayor Ken Livingstone and the Greater London Authority, which now occupy 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. International law ﬁrms Norton Rose and Lawrence Graham have committed to 3 and 4 More London Riverside, respectively, as their new international headquarters. These should be ready for occupation in early 2007.
How’s it going? Very well. The London Development Agency (LDA) will become the anchor tenant this summer having ﬁnalised a deal last December for ???? square metres. Documents which appeared on the LDA website showed that Palestra had beaten several alternative options, including two at Canary Wharf.
What else? Building 5 will become the London Hilton Tower Bridge a 245bedroom, four-star hotel with banqueting and conferencing facilities for 400 guest. It is due to open this summer. There is also a selection of retail and restaurants/ cafes onsite.
What’s left? ???? square metres remain to be let. However, Blackfriars Investments chief Malory Clifford believes that with more companies expressing interested, Palestra will be fully let by the time of opening.
What’s left? Building 7 remains to be let. The 10-storey, 37,175 square metre ofﬁce block is ??????????? After hours: The Unicorn Theatre for Children opened onsite last December while an 18,000 square metre health club incorporating a swimming pool, studios, golf simulators, beauty treatment and medical facilities is due to open this spring.
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What else? Alongside 745 square metres of ground ﬂoor retail, Blackfriars is also constructing a three-star Travel Lodge due to be complete in Spring 2007.
After hours: In its marketing material, Palestra has emphasised not only its central location and easy access to transport links, but also the many cultural facilities, restaurants and bars in the vicinity.
What makes it special? Aside from its enviable location, Bankside 123 will boast some top quality public spaces and modern design. Land Securities project director Jonathan Turk believes the quality of each building can’t be grasped from drawings or models and won’t be fully appreciated until complete. How’s it going? Again, very well. IPC Media is due to take possession of the 46,350 square metre Bankside 1 for ﬁt-out this spring. It is expected to open in early 2007. Last year, Land Securities decided to construct Bankside 2 and 3 speculatively – reversing its previous decision to pre-let. What else? Land Securities sold its Bankside 4 property to Clan Real Estate and Grosvenor for £24.5 million late last year, although the agreement provides for an on-going partnership. Currently an industrial estate, Bankside 4 is earmarked for residential development. What’s left? Bankside 2 and 3. These will be complete in August 2007. Turk conﬁrms that negotiations are under way with a number of potential tenants. After hours: As well as placing an emphasis on creating new public spaces, Land Securities is developing 6,000 square metres of retail and leisure including a health club. And one to watch out for . . . London Bridge Tower The 310-metre “Shard of Glass” is being developed by Sellar Property Group. Due to be complete by 2009, the 83,600 square metre tower will have 70-storeys. Last year, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts signed a 30-year lease agreement to occupy ﬂoors 34 to 52.
Taking Southwark to market
Southwark’s cultural regeneration has been as impressive as its physical transformation, so it’s ﬁtting that markets, perhaps the oldest form of social interaction recorded in the borough, are playing their part in this bright new era.
from the Fashion and Textile Museum are in development. But perhaps most famous of all is the staggeringly popular Borough Market.
That the surge in developer interest in Southwark during the last few years has coincided with the borough’s cultural renaissance is no surprise. Employers know that a vibrant environment is crucial to staff retention, while housebuilders are well aware of the cachet artistic institutions bring to an area. To put it plainly, interesting places make people feel good.
There has been a food market in Borough for nearly 1,000 years and “London’s Larder” has been on its present site, adjacent to London Bridge Station and Southwark Cathedral, since 1756. But the market hasn’t always been the foodie heaven it is now. By the 1990s, declining infrastructure and the growing power of supermarket chains was making the future of the entirely wholesale, and predominantly fruit and vegetable, market look bleak. The trustees who administer Borough Market, all of whom are local residents, determined that it would survive. They had a vision of a quality food venue with a new retail market open to the public that would work alongside, and enhance, the existing wholesale market. Necessity or dream? “It was a bit of both really. We had wanted to introduce some form of retail market for a while and the wholesale market was struggling,” says George Nicholson, chairman of the Borough Market trustees.
Southwark is full of them, not least its selection of markets. East Street Market in Walworth sells a wide range of goods from clothing to cleaning products and provides a vital community focal point, as does the Afro-British Market in Peckham. For those looking for a hidden gem there’s the New Caledonia Antiques Market in Bermondsey Square, while plans for a fashion market stemming
Greig + Stephenson Architects (GSA) was appointed to design the new look Borough Market in 1995 and spent the next ﬁve years working with the trustees to devise, and secure funding for, the development plan. GSA had just completed the renovation of Leeds Market; its architects– envisaged the creation of a new destination, combining tradition and atmosphere with the
From the return of the Globe Theatre in 1997 and the opening of Tate Modern in 2000, to the reinvention of Borough Market as a food lovers’ paradise in 1999 (much more of which later) to the launch of Zandra Rhodes’ Fashion and Textile Museum three years ago, Southwark has arguably become London’s most exciting destination. Certainly visitor numbers have swelled to almost 11 million per annum – an upward trend that shows no sign of abating.
modern facilities and multiple functions which Borough Market needed to survive. A Food Lovers’ Fair held in 1998 began the market’s retail renaissance and developed into a quarterly, then a monthly and ﬁnally to a twice weekly public market in 1999. Meanwhile, during the same year, the trustees purchased the abandoned Portico building from the Covent Garden Floral Hall for £1 and GSA secured planning consent to rebuild and restore the beautiful old structure within Borough Market. The two storey building – completed in the summer of 2004 – became an instant icon. As GSA founder Ken Greig says, the Portico is a tangible symbol of the entire regeneration, albeit a technically complex one. “After demolishing the fairly uninspiring 1950s building that was already there, we had to ﬁt the Portico into a triangular shape between the railway viaducts and the existing market building,” he says. In fact, as Greig points out, the site holds many challenges: archaeological remains stretch from Roman times to the Middle Ages, while underground constraints such as basements and the site’s proximity to London Bridge Station (at the closest point construction was just ﬁve feet from railway structures) added to the task. Yet the market continued to function throughout the work. The next phase of refurbishment centres on the wholesale traders occupying the northern corner of the site, facing
Over 300 designers have expressed interest in becoming stallholders and, under the guidance of Zandra Rhodes’ museum, this could become the hippest destination in the capital.
Southwark Cathedral. The Jubilee Market section is being restored, re-glazed and the pavement widened to allow wholesale traders to exploit retail trading opportunities in the future. Nicholson is “keen and conﬁdent” of attracting more wholesale traders once this part of the refurbishment is completed, in September. The regeneration of Borough Market has attracted a whole host of exciting bars, restaurants and speciality food shops to the area, including restaurants Roast and ﬁsh! which are based within the market itself. Around 15,000 visitors enjoy the
twice-weekly shopping experience. The quality of retailers and the overall ambience saw Borough Market top a poll of “Totally London” experiences and it was voted “The Best Market in the Country” at the ﬁrst “Observer Food Monthly” awards in 2004. “I always knew that as long as we stuck to our goals we would be successful; the idea of a food market was very much of its time,” says Nicholson. “The market is a wonderful destination and a signiﬁcant attraction,” adds Greig. And, as Nicholson points out, Borough Market has had a positive impact on other developments: “Look at every residential brochure for new homes in the area and they all show Borough Market,” he says. The weekly New Caledonia Antiques Market in Bermondsey Square, which was founded by Prince Albert in 1855 and attracts dealers from across Europe, is also at the heart of ambitious regeneration plans. Its home in Bermondsey Square is currently the subject of a £500 million development programme. Led by Igloo Regeneration, plans include 60 new homes, an arthouse cinema and boutique-style hotel. As part of the conditions for development, the antiques market is continuing to operate during the construction period and will have a new, improved home when Bermondsey Square is complete in 2007. Up the road at the Fashion and Textile Museum plans are underway for a fashion market to rival Spitalﬁelds in E1. Over 300 designers have expressed interest in becoming stallholders and, under the guidance of Zandra Rhodes’ museum, this could become the hippest destination in the capital. A feasibility study – looking at, for example, possible locations – has just been completed. “A new thinking is starting to emerge on markets” says Nicholson. “There is a national reawakening. Historically, they are the focus for a town or an area by creating a buzz and a destination.”. In Southwark, they are also vital ingredients in the regeneration process.
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Nicholas Serota on Southwark
Nicholas Serota on Southwark
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Proctor and Matthews Ad
Proctor and Matthews Ad
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estimates put the cost of internal and external refurbishment at £350 million, or £146,000 per home, substantially more than the rebuild cost. Without the money to affect change, Southwark Council agreed that a public/private partnership was the Aylesbury’s only chance of radical improvement. In conjunction with housing associations and developers, it proposes to demolish the 285,000 square metre estate in phases and replace it with 2,200 homes for rent under housing association control and around 2,700 homes for sale or for shared ownership. A new mixed-use, mixed tenure Aylesbury will be born. The council wants to improve existing facilities, including the Aylesbury Day Centre, Tyke’s Corner childcare facility and the Aylesbury Health Centre. Local schools should beneﬁt too: Walworth School is earmarked for possible Academy status and Michael Faraday School is likely to be remodelled. Although some residents could be enjoying their new homes by 2010, this is a massive project and completion will take at least a decade.
A new future for the Aylesbury
They’re an icon of British inner city life, but the Aylesbury Estate’s much derided concrete walkways will soon be consigned to history. Southwark Council’s executive committee voted last September to demolish the estate’s 2,700 homes and create a new mixeduse, mixed tenure community. Since structural defects were discovered in late 2004 and with massive investment needed in its infrastructure, redevelopment rather than refurbishment of the Aylesbury became an increasingly attractive option. In fact, it was the only ﬁnancially viable option. Council
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Meanwhile, the troubles that the Aylesbury’s residents have to contend with have been widely documented: structural weaknesses, a fractious heating system, poor design and social problems such as fear of crime and vandalism. Its monolithic grey blocks have become symbolic, some might say scapegoats, for all that is wrong with inner city Britain. The Aylesbury has attracted politicians (Tony Blair made the ﬁrst major speech of his premiership there in 1997, while former Conservative leader Michael Howard visited during the last general election campaign), journalists reporting on the problems of urban life and endless ﬁlm crews looking for a gritty location. But the extent of this attention is somewhat misleading. Recent improvements have seen ﬁlm crews resorting to spraying their own grafﬁti (which is immediately removed), while
the Aylesbury is often wrongly identiﬁed in the media as Europe’s largest estate. Acting director of the £56 million Aylesbury New Deals for Communities (NDC) programme, Steve Pearce, points out that while the Aylesbury hasn’t changed much cosmetically, there has been considerable social progress. Local children’s exam results have improved, there has been an upsurge in organised youth activities, an increase in policing and schemes to lower unemployment (for a full report on the NDC’s work, see the last issue of Southwark). Physical change has been harder to implement. Built between 1967 and 1977, the estate’s design principles have now been consigned to history. Although the architectural blueprints for the new look Aylesbury have yet to be produced, it is likely to be fairly low-rise and to follow more traditional street patterns. Masterplanning should begin next year, with the appointment of an urban designer. Until then, and reﬂecting the scale of the task ahead, there will be a period of “blue sky thinking” during which local people, relevant council departments and industry professionals will discuss their visions for and the logistics of the Aylesbury redevelopment. “We need to address lots of issues such as how educational facilities, public transport and the nearby Burgess Park can best serve the area,” says Martin Smith, who is leading the project for Southwark Council. Sustainability has become the buzzword of modern day regeneration and, looking at the Aylesbury, it’s easy to understand why. Smith is determined that the new Aylesbury won’t become an anachronism within 30 years and, of this holistic approach, he says: “Development is a long process and there have been several abortive schemes [in 2001 residents were balloted on a possible stock transfer to a Registered Social Landlord, but rejected the plan by 73 per cent]. The design is such that maintenance and management is difﬁcult and we want to avoid these types of mistake in the future.”
Southwark Council hopes to select a masterplanner by the middle of this year and have a development blueprint for consultation by Spring 2007. Such is its size that the Aylesbury Estate will probably be divided into four sections. Different architects might work on each section to ensure the natural variety usually found over city blocks; it is likely that more than one developer will be involved. “There is no shortage of interest already,” reveals Smith. “The potential here is phenomenal.” Given the Aylesbury’s location less than two miles from Waterloo and London Bridge, and its 285,000 square metre size, this attention is hardly surprising. The chosen developer(s) should be onsite in two years, when demolition will probably begin on the ﬁrst 500 units in the Aylesbury’s southwest corner. Affected residents will be moved to homes currently under construction on Boyson Road, just outside the estate’s parameters. When Southwark Issue Three
the southwest corner’s homes are completed the next 500 households will move into them, allowing the demolition and rebuild process to continue step-bystep until the entire estate is complete. It is not surprising that Aylesbury residents have concerns about the upheaval ahead. Pearce says one of the main frustrations has been the length of time that the estate’s future has been under debate. Residents have asked to, and will, be involved at all levels of decision making. Of the 7,500 people who live in the Aylesbury, 83 percent are council tenants. Among their concerns are the number of rooms the new homes will have, their location, if neighbours will remain together and whether a right-to-buy scheme will still exist (450 leaseholders have already exercised their right-to-buy). The NDC will be representing the residents and leaseholders throughout the redevelopment process: “The main issue for leaseholders is ‘when’ as they obviously can’t sell their homes until
plans are set,” says Pearce. It is hoped that this situation will soon be resolved. Devising a ﬁnancial package for the Aylesbury’s homeowners is one of the ﬁrst tasks due to be addressed by Southwark Council’s project team. A decade from now, the Aylesbury Estate will be completely transformed. New social and private housing will sit side by side with commercial, retail and community facilities, completing the sustainable, modern community. Before then, there is lots and lots of work ahead.
‘ We need to address lots of issues such as how educational facilities, public transport and the nearby Burgess Park can best serve the area’ 36 37
Affordable but chic in Southwark
What is affordable housing? There is no universal deﬁnition of affordable housing. Southwark Council deﬁnes affordable housing as: “Housing that is accessible to those households that cannot otherwise afford the cheapest habitable dwelling with the same number of habitable rooms, available anywhere within the borough at market prices. This category includes low-cost homes ownership schemes and key worker housing.”
Developed solely by Registered Social Landlords (housing associations) or in conjunction with private contractors and/or councils, the affordable housing business is now worth around £1.75 billion per year nationally. In other words, it’s big news. In his 2004 London Plan, mayor Ken Livingstone stipulated that all new residential development in the capital should comprise between 30 per cent and 50 per cent affordable housing. The inclusion of affordable housing in private residential developments became one of Southwark Council’s stated aims back in 1999, and by February 2002 a benchmark of 25 per cent was set. These days the council asks that all new residential schemes have a 35 per cent affordable provision and in premium sites – such as Elephant and Castle – that ﬁgure rises to at least 40 per cent. The House Builders Federation (HBF) has argued that, in some cases, without higher levels of grant subsidy, quotas can be an obstacle to commercial viability. Andrew Whittaker, head of planning for the HBF told Southwark magazine: “As ever it depends on the site speciﬁcs, the grant available and the ﬂexibility of the council in allowing different tenures based on grant available. Without maintaining site viability it doesn’t matter how much affordable housing you are seeking.”
Veronica Borrett, principal project ofﬁcer at Southwark Council, says: “The council doesn’t seek quotas but a percentage of new residential development as affordable housing. Clearly stated policy and guidance enables developers to oeprate on a level playing ﬁeld. As the amount of affordable housing being sought is known from the outset the developer is able to factor these considerations into negotiations for the land.” By its own estimates, Southwark needs to produce 1,900 new affordable homes every year for the next ﬁve years, to meet existing and arising need. However the overall target for all new homes across the borough is 1,477 per year; there are clearly great challenges ahead.
Wyndham Road – Hyde Housing Hyde Housing’s Wyndham Road development in Camberwell became only the second in the country to feature the Polish-designed Buma modular building technique. The ﬁrst six ﬂats were built in just three days in May last year and a total of 18 ﬂats were ready for hand-over within one month. The three-storey block of keyworker accommodation comprises nine one-bedroom and nine twobedroom ﬂats. It was built in three segments and secured on ‘screw pile’
foundations which can be moved and relocated where and when required. “This is a project which offers a unique opportunity to demonstrate the versatility of the Buma technology and to address the issue of sites where there is uncertainty over long term plans for development,” says Mike Kirk, Hyde’s development director for the London Region. “The screw pile technique means that we can, at the end of the ﬁve year lease that we have on this land, relocate the ﬂats together with the foundations.”
Steedman Street Developed by Oakmayne Properties, South Central will be the ﬁrst major private housing development in Elephant and Castle. The ﬁrst 24 affordable units on Steedman Street were unveiled last December. Twelve will be managed by Horizon Group under a shared ownership scheme, while a further 12 will be managed by Lambeth and Southwark Housing Association for social rent.
The growth of the affordable housing sector has seen RSLs become innovative, proactive developers. Here are a few examples from around Southwark . . .
The South Bermondsey Children’s Centre (plus housing) – Hyde Housing The South Bermondsey Children’s Centre on Tenda Road will open for business in July offering childcare provision for more than 80 babies, toddlers and children up to ﬁve years. Southwark Council and Hyde
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Housing are developing the scheme using the same modular system as Wyndham Road. In addition there will be health care and adult learning facilities as well as 16 apartments for key workers. Hyde will manage these and owns the site’s freehold while Southwark Council will receive a 125-year lease.
Queen’s Road, Peckham – Wandle Housing Association Due to be completed in 2007, Wandle Housing Association is building 158 homes and 5,000 square metres of ofﬁce space on an ex-industrial site at Queen’s Road, Peckham. HOW MUCH AFFORDABLE?
Welcome to Elephant and Castle
The UK’s most exciting regeneration scheme lies just a short walk from the City of London and 10 minutes from the centre of town. The 1960s architecture, the roundabouts and the unappealing subways are set to be wiped away to create a new destination in which to live, work and play. Fact ﬁle: What’s going on?
– £1.5 billion, 688,000 square metre mixed-use regeneration – 75,000 square metres of retail space – 5,300 new and replacement homes (50 per cent will be affordable) – Over 4,000 new jobs – Re-routing trafﬁc system to give priority to pedestrians – Introducing new transport links – Creating landmark buildings – Six new character areas – New public spaces, cultural and community facilities – Completion date 2014
Timeline 2006 – First Heygate residents to move to new homes in Wansey Street this spring. – Selection of commercial development partner expected by summer. – Construction to begin on early housing sites by the end of the year. – Work on the removal of the Southern roundabout to begin by autumn. 2007–2011 – Development of the southern most part of the regeneration area including the Walworth Road extension, the Heygate Boulevard and St Mary’s Churchyard. – Phased demolition of the Heygate Estate and relocation of tenants to new social housing in and around Elephant and Castle. 2010 – Demolition of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre. 2010–2014 – Construction of the Civic Square and start of development on the Heygate footprint. 2014 onwards – Regeneration of the Elephant and Castle complete. 40 41
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Elephant and castle Ad
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Developing for the future
The bidders . . .
Southwark Council is preparing to select a development partner for its £1.5 billion, 688,000 square metre Elephant and Castle regeneration scheme. The decision will follow four years of planning and consultation to create a groundbreaking Development Framework, but its roots stretch even further into the past. The three shortlisted contenders are Key Property Investments (a joint venture between St Modwen and Salhia); Lend Lease Europe Limited (in collaboration with First Base and Oakmayne); and Oceancrest (a consortium of Blackfriars Investments, Le Frak Organisation Chelsﬁeld Partners and Glebe Holdings). Southwark Council is expected to announce the successful bidder this summer after considering submissions from each of the consortia. It will be the culmination of an unusually thorough design process. Southwark Council has been working with a multidisciplinary team of experts since 2002 to ensure that a comprehensive blueprint, which best serves the interests of local people, is in place before the selection decision. As Elephant and Castle development director Chris Horn explains, “the Elephant” is too important to receive anything less than the most special attention: “We want to create something really spectacular here. This is not just about delivering new housing, retail, jobs and public spaces, although that is what the regeneration will do; it’s about building a destination. Elephant and Castle’s location just minutes from the City, the South Bank and the West End presents an unrivalled opportunity. We have to get it right.” The Development Framework endorsed in February 2004 goes beyond the realms of masterplan vision to produce a detailed
Southwark Council will select its development partner for the massive Elephant Castle regeneration scheme later this year. The three remaining bidders are Key Property Investments (a joint venture between St Modwen and Salhia); Lend Lease Europe Limited (in collaboration with First Base and Oakmayne); and Oceancrest (a consortium of Blackfriars Investments, Le Frak Organisation Chelsﬁeld Partners and Glebe Holdings). We posed the following questions to the prospective partners: What attracted you to the Elephant and Castle regeneration? Key Property Investments: St Modwen Properties Plc is unashamedly a regeneration specialist and one of the main strands of our business is town centre projects. We identiﬁed the Elephant and Castle area some time ago as a potential regeneration project and this commitment was cemented in July 2002 by the acquisition of the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre. Clearly the main attractions of the site are its superb transport link and close proximity to Central London, together with the willingness of Southwark Council to promote an exciting and substantial mixed-use regeneration project for the area. Lend Lease Europe Limited: We think Elephant and Castle is no ordinary place. It is both literally and metaphorically on the fringe. We like this. Things outside the ordinary happen here. We will consult and explore the opportunities to do something unique and special. Oceancrest: It offers a unique opportiunity in Central London to make a real difference locally and London-wide. Are you excited by the prospect of becoming development partner for the £1.5 billion scheme? Key Property Investments: St Modwen Properties Plc, if selected, would be delighted at the prospect of becoming development partner for this regeneration scheme. The Elephant and Castle project is likely to be one of the most high proﬁle regenerations to occur in London and there will be an incredible amount of prestige attached to being associated with a development of this nature.
blueprint of exactly what Southwark Council wants to create at Elephant and Castle and, more crucially, how it is to be delivered. “We learned from our mistakes,” says Horn. “The council knew that it could not embark on this project without being absolutely clear about what we want to achieve and what we expect from others.” For those familiar with Elephant and Castle’s history, his response will not be surprising. In 2002, previous regeneration plans fell apart when developer Southwark Land Regeneration and Southwark Council failed to agree on commercial and ﬁnancial terms. “People didn’t want any more false starts,” says Horn. To this end, the Elephant and Castle team has conducted a continuous programme of public consultation at all stages of the development process. “We want to ensure that a regenerated Elephant and Castle meets the needs and aspirations of local people,” he says. “There have been consultations and
information sharing sessions at all times of day and in many different locations. We ﬂooded the area with information so that people could make their own judgement on the plans.” And it seems to have worked: 80 per cent of local residents support the proposals. The Development Framework covers the entire 688,000 square metre regeneration with plans for housing, retail, leisure, business, transport and community improvements that are due for completion by 2014. The most notable elements include the delivery of 5,300 new and replacement homes (the ﬁrst of these are almost ready for occupation); reconﬁguring the car-centric transport system in favour of public transport and pedestrians; 4,000 new jobs; and 75,000 square metres of retail space. The notoriously drab shopping centre will be demolished and an enticing new public realm will be built. The framework was developed by Make Architects (aided by a host of specialist
Lend Lease Europe Limited: Excitement would be an understatement. Our team are aware that we have an extraordinary opportunity to revitalise an entire metropolitan area. We want to capture this opportunity by helping create a place that everyone is proud to call their own. Our team have a number of very large regeneration projects around the world and we are keen to bring the best from this global experience to Elephant &and Castle. Oceancrest: Yes, because the four individual companies which have now formed the Oceancrest Partnership become a formidable force of experience in regeneration, management, delivery and ﬁnancial resources. T and this regeneration will allow Oceancrest to put all these resources to work when forming the partnership with Southwark Council. What do you like about the area? Where do you think its potential most lies? Key Property Investments: The most signiﬁcant attribute that the Elephant and Castle enjoys is its location. It borders Zone One of the tube network and has excellent public transport communications via rail, tube and bus. It also enjoys an excellent road network with most of the main arterial routes converging on the roundabout at the Elephant and Castle. In terms of its potential, the Elephant and Castle regeneration project could potentially deliver a mixed-use scheme that has not yet been delivered within the UK. Lend Lease Europe Limited: This is real London. The south bank of the Thames is now one of the most exciting and dynamic quarters of London. We must capture this energy, excitement and enthusiasm so that Elephant and Castle is right at the heart of the new experience. Elephant and Castle can deﬁne what modern London living is all about. Oceancrest: Its close proximity to the cultural centre of the South Bank, Tate Modern etc, the West End, the City etc; Iits varied ethnic mix; one million people in reasonable proximity who could be encouraged to see the new Elephant as a place to visit; Ggood university life. Its potential most lies in creating a vibrant new heart for South London; a place for South Londoners to celebrate; an opportunity to train and create a
(continued from page 49) valuable workforce not only throughout the lifetime of the project but also well into the future; and sufﬁcient critical mass to take turn an area that has been for many years downgraded and turn it into a world- class environment along with spectacular buildings. How do you envisage the process of working with the Elephant and Castle team at Southwark Council? Key Property Investments: Since our acquisition of the shopping centre in July 2002, we have enjoyed a good working relationship with the team at Southwark Council and have worked on a number of joint initiatives such as the E-Light programme and the 40th Anniversary of the Shopping Centre. From our experience with the team at Southwark Council, we would envisage a very successful working arrangement.
consultants) and takes a holistic, sustainable approach to Elephant and Castle’s transformation. It provides alternatives to the busy road network, pedestrian subways and maze-like housing estates that currently severely diminish the area’s cohesion. As Make founder John Prevc explains, the framework is primarily about place making: “The key issue is to try to reconnect the communities which, at the moment, are disconnected by physical barriers. We are re-establishing some of the historic [pre-1960s] routes and these will become places and spaces in which to live and work. You can’t just construct buildings and hope they will do the job. First you have to understand what people in the area need, then reﬁne the mixture of uses and what the space should do. The design should, and does, ﬂow from this.” Make was supported and assisted by an impressive team assembled by Southwark Council, including Tibbalds Planning & Urban Design, Space Syntax, Ernst & Young, Inventa, JMP Consulting, Herbert Smith, GVA Grimley and Steer
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Davis Gleeve, to name just some of the companies that helped to build the Development Framework over the last four years. They all share Southwark Council’s vision for a more prosperous future for Elephant and Castle. The signs are positive: with its location, the political will for success and strong commercial interest, the Elephant is arguably the country’s most exciting regeneration project. With the selection of a development partner it will take another step along the road to successes.
Lend Lease Europe Limited: The key to the working relationship is ambition. Southwark Council have played a pivotal role in creating an expectation for genuine improvement. Lively and ongoing dialogue with the public and the key civic inﬂuencers is fundamental to regeneration. Otherwise we would just call it “redevelopment”. Regeneration never ‘ﬁnishes’ – we will help quicken the pace, but this is just a chapter in the never ending evolution of the area. If selected, we must make our turn count. We will be measured by new jobs, new businesses, health and wellbeing, educational results, community spirit, and the acceptance and understanding of cultural differences. Oceancrest: On the assumption that the Elephant and Castle E&C team at Southwark Council remain fully resourced and are able to respond positively to our team, in a way that enables the process to be completed in the limited timescale, we are conﬁdent that our now established working relationship will continue to strengthen in readiness for when we win the right to become Southwark Council’s development partner. Chris [Horn, Southwark Council’s development director for Elephant and Castle] and his team are a rare quality to be found in a local authority. T and this is refreshing as normally one would only ﬁnd it in the private sector.
With the opening of the Siobhan Davies Dance Company’s ﬁrst permanent home, Elephant and Castle is declaring its cultural ambitions. As the internationally acclaimed choreographer is the ﬁrst to acknowledge, this move is a dream come true. Despite a career spanning almost 40 years, a bulging awards cabinet and an OBE for services to dance, Siobhan Davies has never had a studio to call her own. Since forming her eponymous company in 1988, Davies has rehearsed in some weird and not-so-wonderful venues. A permanent base, however, has eluded this extremely likeable lady, one of the leading lights of contemporary dance.
Dancing down to the Elephant
Until now. In January, after a decadelong search, the Siobhan Davies Dance Company opened the doors of its new home, a formerly derelict school annexe in Elephant and Castle. Sarah Wigglesworth Architects had the complex task of joining the two Victorian buildings and designing a large studio above them. “I like how Sarah has used unfussy detail in the building and how she creates spaces which people don’t feel daunted in,” says Davies. “We spoke at length about the practical needs of a dance studio [such as the absence of pillars] and I wanted her to take as much ﬂight as an artist as possible. What delights me is the way she uses her ideas throughout the whole of the building. The history of the school still resonates in the work...you can still see the lines of the stairs and the old exposed varnished brick...but it has been moved on by the contemporary thinking of a modern architect.” Davies’ vision for her new base goes beyond that of a training and performance venue, although preparing and staging works will continue to be its prime function. She hopes the Dancers’ Trust, as the building is now known, will become a holistic centre “of national importance”. To that end, the building includes research space, meeting and treatment rooms, ofﬁces and support facilities. It will be open to wider use by the independent dance sector, community dance initiatives
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and educational bodies. “I’d reached a certain place in dance in this country which I felt I should use to better the working lives of dancers,” says Davies. But it’s been a long journey of fundraising and false dawns: Davies almost secured space at a development near King’s Cross only for that to fall through. “After that we went round the other boroughs and the ﬁrst one that not only welcomed us but also sustained their interest in what we wanted and really helped us was Southwark,” she explains. Luckily, the school annexe was not available (under planning guidelines) for residential development. That allowed fundraising to continue while the property remained reserved for the dance studio. In all, the council and Davies have been working together for over four years and the former has donated £750,000 to the £4.2 million venture. “The Siobhan Davies Dance Company is a big asset for us,” says Elephant and Castle development director Chris Horn. “We’re aspiring to create a cultural hub and this is beginning to happen. By taking the plunge and moving to Elephant and Castle, Siobhan and her team are really helping to change the face of the area.” As Davies herself comments: “If one looks at all the big cities around the world, artists move to the next space that will be vibrant. If the regeneration goes well, and we wish Southwark Council all the best, then we will be very pleased with our decision to move here and grateful for their help in making that decision. If you look at New York, many dancers moved to the Soho area and now it’s one of the smartest places in the city. As a group, artists are curious about what’s going to happen next.” Just like the regeneration industry.
Goodbye to Elephant’s ‘hated’ subways
Work to dismantle one of Elephant and Castle’s most hated landmarks will begin this summer with the removal of its unappealing network of subways. The London Development Agency has conﬁrmed funding to convert the southern roundabout into a t-junction with striking landscaping and wide, European-style pedestrian crossings. Residents have consistently said the subways are the feature they dislike most about their neighbourhood, branding them unsafe and intimidating. Elephant and Castle development director Chris
Horn says this is the ﬁrst major win of the regeneration for local residents and workers. “Access to the shopping centre will be dramatically improved and people will be able to enjoy the improved park and local environment,” he says. At the same time, the rundown and neglected St Mary’s Churchyard will be transformed into the park of Elephant and Castle with upgraded landscaping and the installation of children’s play facilities. More details on the schedule of works will be released shortly. See www.elephantandcastle.org.uk
Physical, social and economic regeneration in the London Borough of Southwark