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SOM unveils Elephant & Castle plans

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[First look] SOM has revealed these concept images showing two alternative schemes for the redevelopment of Elephant & Castle shopping centre in London

The images – which do not represent the company’s final designs – show alternative ‘curvaceous’ and ‘blocky’ schemes for the project

SOM’s plans, which remain under development, include creating residential towers above the building and enhancing its public realm.

Designed by Boissenvain & Osmond, the 1965 shopping centre has been at the centre of controversy ever since plans for its demolition were scrapped earlier this year.

A cabinet meeting of Southwark Council approved an agreement with site owner St Modwen for the structure’s mixed-use redevelopment on 17 May.

The 1960s concrete structure will be stripped down to its ‘very bare bones’ and foundations as part of plans to create an ‘unrecognisable’ retail destination on the site according to the council.

Tim Seddon, London regional director for St. Modwen, said:  ‘These concepts are intended to be purely indicative at this stage to demonstrate our early thinking as to how the new Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre might look.

‘There is a considerable amount of work required to develop these ideas into reality and for this reason both are deliberately very different in approach. However, what they do show is the ambition to achieve a transformation which consigns the old pink shopping centre to history.’

Councillor Fiona Colley, Southwark’s cabinet member for regeneration, said:  ‘These concepts are not intended to reflect the final design but should give people some idea of the massive potential for transformation of the shopping centre at the heart of the £1.5bn Elephant and Castle regeneration.

‘We will be looking for forward-thinking design to reflect the enormity of the changes happening in this central London location.’

The building is part of Southwark Council and Lend Lease’s £1.5 billion redevelopment programme for the wider Elephant and Castle area, currently being re-masterplanned by Make.

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