Rodić Davidson Architects

Elephant & Castle Project

RDA Apartment Scheme SouthwarkApartment Scheme SouthwarkElevations 1Elevations 2RDA Apartment Scheme Southwark

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Once understood as the effervescent ‘Piccadilly of South London’, Elephant & Castle has long been a centre for landmark architecture. When invited to work on a mixed-use development on one of its principal thoroughfares, we seized the opportunity to pick up this tradition where it left off. Our brief was to maximise value by increasing the density and enhancing the optics of a prominent corner site, subject to especial scrutiny from planning officers.

From the offset, Southwark Council made it clear that planning would only be granted if the proposed scheme was of an exceptional design quality. The composition needed to make an interesting and visually striking contribution to Elephant and Castle without disturbing protected perspectives of the street. This was achieved by a simple sculptural form accommodating a retail unit on the ground floor and seven apartments above, which turned the corner to connect the profiles of the two adjoining streets.

Rising from three to five storeys in making the turn, the bronze-clad building delivers a substantial gross internal floor area without imposing itself unnecessarily on the surrounding built environment. Picking up on the colour palette and rooflines of the surrounding nineteenth-century buildings, whilst using unfamiliar materials, we produced something at once sympathetic and uncompromisingly new.

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