Vox Pop

Southwark Council has just announced a £1.5bn regeneration scheme for London’s Elephant & Castle, with on-site work expected to begin by the end of the year. What, from a design perspective, do you think the area needs to make it a place people want to tr

‘A holistic overview needs to be taken of the site and the geographic area as a whole. It needs to establish an integrated brand, as Bluewater has done, while addressing the rabbit warren of pedestrian tunnels, roads and the inhospitable environment. It has to be accessible to all, not a white elephant.’

Neil Walker, Creative partner, CDT Design

‘I have memories of going slowly round the roundabout, thinking who ever shopped in that pink blancmange? Foster & Partners’ proposal will have a major impact in South London as a pivotal hub linking directly to all major north-south crossings of the Thames. The area has been a forgotten wasteland, this will allow the area to gain a much needed focus. I hope it happens soon.’

Ken Mackay, Director, MAK Architects

‘Eyesore that it is and problems that it has, it is one of the few genuine communities left in London. The design industry should consult locals, not spend huge amounts defining the area’s brand essence to produce yet another sanitised, white, middle class playground.’

Nic Jones, Creative director, Browns

‘It’s defined by its roundabout and shiny waffle installation; a valve to move through. Remove the focus from this and there is an opportunity to let the surrounding area breathe. Make the train the transport of choice and re-direct the car to open up the space.’

Kevin Holloway, Production director, De-construct

‘It needs an infrastructure that is human in scale and rooted in the real life of the local community, not two swish buildings and a few new shops. Rather than design a destination, why not create a place where people can genuinely interact? Something human, real, relevant.’

Bill Cumming, Group creative director, The Nest

‘The key design issue is to create an attractive environment for people, while recognising the site is a major traffic interchange. Southwark Council should reflect on the Birmingham Bull Ring’s achievements. Who knows, the Elephant could even bring North Londoners south for their retail therapy.’

Ian Louden, Senior consultant, FutureBrand

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