Trafalgar Place is the pioneer scheme for Lendlease’s regeneration of Elephant and Castle. comprising 235 high-quality apartments, including 25% affordable housing, integrated within a new landscape around mature trees, the project transforms the former 1960’s mega blocks with an outstanding site plan which reconnects the 19th-Century fabric of the neighbourhood.
A new public street through the middle extends the historic grain and creates pedestrian permeability, while reinforcing views of surrounding buildings and trees. Public space is a key aspect of the project; boundaries between public and private space appear open, are secure and yet not aggressive. It is a refreshing and successful change from gated or insular housing. The retention of mature London plane trees gives a level of delight and settled permanence rarely achieved in new housing.
Extensive landscaping provides pleasure, safety, defensible space and robustness, whist still feeling open, relaxed and comfortable – it is carried through to completion with conviction. The entrance up into the private space is secure yet open, private yet public. All homes have either a garden, balcony or roof terrace.
dRMM encouraged Lendlease to test engineered timber as a solution to building faster, more sustainable housing. Whilst in this scheme the quantum of timber is not the most significant, the project is a step-change in the delivery of large residential housing schemes.
Brick, glass and copper were selected as the principle façade materials. Eight types of bricks are used, referencing the materiality of the neighbouring buildings. At junctions between varying brickwork colours, keyed-in corners refer to traditional brickworking methods whilst whimsically playing on proportion and scale. The subtle brickwork detailing, as well relating to context, gives the new buildings a playful identity of their own.
Visualisations © Cityscape
Photos © Alex de Rijke, Daniel Romero