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Arch Street, Elephant & Castle, Southwark, London, UK

This mixed-use scheme tackles the central issue of how successful family living can be sustained on a complex, inner city location. The site is constrained on all boundaries - by a railway viaduct to the west, New Kent Road to the south and an existing residential block and tower to the north and east. These conditions questioned the appropriateness of a traditional perimeter block.

Point blocks bring open space to tight site

The assemblage of point blocks with varying heights balance the need for acoustic and visual privacy with the need for sunlight and visual engagement with the protected communal areas inside. At the ground level, the placement of buildings shapes pedestrian movement and allows visual permeability.

The organisation of circulation creates a secure and effective relationship between the street and the internal communal garden. The stepping of the buildings delivers not only apartments but also patio houses. This allows light to flood the courtyard and subsequently diversifies the communal spaces offered residents with roof gardens and terraces.

Problems of the perimeter block

Access and circulation

Multiplying the ground - terraced gardens

'Open block' - sunlight, views and greenery

Arch Street, Elephant & Castle, London



London and Quadrant Housing Trust


50 apartments of mixed tenure

650 m2 retail space

Site area

0.2 ha

Building costs

GBP 8,100,000

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