Elephant Park

Maccreanor Lavington, London, 2017


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The brick cladding is decorative 

Tim Crocker     Download Original

  • The brick cladding is decorative    
  • There are five different bricks on show, predominantly two special red brick blends    
  • Each of the seven buildings has its own character    
  • The commission was won through a design charrette in mid-2013    
  • South Gardens at Elephant Park sits opposite the existing Larcom Street Conservation Area    
  • The scheme provides a strong brickwork aesthetic across all buildings    
  • Inside one of the dwellings    
  • Inside one of the dwellings    
  • Site location plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • South Gardens second floor plan    
  • Section AA    
  • Heygate street elevation    
  • Wansey Street elevation    
  • The Heygate Estate    
  • The Heygate Estate    
  • Mansion block bay detail    
  • Typical inset balcony bay study    

London’s Heygate Estate is replaced by Elephant Park.

A Make Architects masterplan from 2013 established a series of differing building heights which reconciled the new development with towers to the north and a Victorian street grid to the south. Maccreanor Lavington has accepted the spirit of the masterplan and responded to each typology with ingenuity and flair.

The building to the west is a 16-storey tower which falls away to the south to six storeys and, having done so, makes a sculpted kink to create a public space to the rear. Adjacent is another sumptuous mansion block, which creates an impressive frontage. A strip of plantings and simple detailing give the façade a less imposing feel. The first two floors are maisonettes with the ground-floor windows given over to living and dining rooms – a move that makes them both more amenable and more active than if they had been kitchens or bedrooms.  

Further along Wansey Street runs a series of terraced houses. The first four townhouses create a smaller courtyard with the larger social housing blocks to the east. The others, 22 in number, further along Wansey street are divided into two groups, with the second group of 15 all built to Passivhaus standards.

Apart from the terraced houses, which have cross-laminated timber frames, the buildings are all concrete framed and clad in brick. Maccreanor Lavington has used brick as a decorative cladding. There are five different bricks on show, predominantly two special red brick blends. The general effect is playful theatrical and decorative; a particularly useful means of breaking down the volume of the large-scale blocks. 


  • Begun: Jan 2015
  • Completed: Aug 2017
  • Floor area: 35,840m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • CO2 Emissions: 2.5kg/m2/year
  • Address: South Gardens, Elephant Park, London, SE1 6SQ, United Kingdom

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