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This project was one of the winning designs in Southwark Council's Elephant and Castle Early Housing Scheme, part of the Elephant and Castle Regeneration proposals.

The design is clearly and deliberately seen as 2 'Houses', for both social and practical reasons. 50 flats are provided in total, consisting of a mixture of 1 to 3 bedroom units including 3 wheelchair accessible ground floor flats.

The 'Houses' are of slightly different sizes and their forms are a result of relating them to both the surrounding buildings and the local streets. The location and the brief require for a high-density development on the site and this is positive and complementary to the characteristics of the area.

There are 2 'Houses' to allow for the flexibility of tenure/ownership (private sale/housing association rental) but the real benefit of making them ‘similar but different’ is to allow them to express themselves as 2 characters among the other buildings in the area.

The gap between the 2 'Houses' mirrors those types of 'everyday' routes which we use often, without even noticing. This new space blurs the edges between public & private, without sacrificing the need for safer, overlooked places & routes through the city.

The idea of a 'house' would allow for a wide variety of apartments without sacrificing the unity of the house itself. On a scale up - the apartments are seen as ‘rooms’. Each of these ‘rooms’ has a different view and orientation.

The house typology is also chosen as it is a familiar building type. It allows occupants to retreat but also has spaces to meet other residents informally. It encourages a sense of belonging to a small community within the city. The site itself is heavily overlooked by the 12 storey tower block (Helen Gladstone House) on Surrey Row and the 9 storey slab block on Pocock Street (Manna Ash House). Outlook is also limited on the East and West .

The site strategy is to retain as much outlook from the tower block primarily as it is unusually close to the street edge – this is why the ‘2 Houses with the space between’ was adopted. Despite the restrictions, all flats in the proposal have adequate if not good outlook from the rooms. All flats face either Pocock Street or Surrey Row. Where the houses face each other, the flats minimise any overlooking by offsetting the windows.

Pocock Street

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