Elephant Park

Part of the final phase of the Elephant Park Masterplan, City Lights Point is a Build-To-Rent and Affordable tenure residential development with retail and commercial spaces on the ground floor. 


City Lights Point is a small but complete urban block at the northeast corner of Elephant Park, completing the new frontage to Old Kent Road. The scheme provides 222 homes within 3 buildings, including a mix of Affordable Rent, Shared Ownership and Build-to-Rent apartments above retail and leisure uses.


How did the design concept emerge?

The design concept emerged from an appreciation of the surrounding context, from the established neighbourhood of Walworth to the north and east, including the busy artery of Old Kent Road, to the fantastic green space of Elephant Park formed around the existing mature trees, with new play spaces, shops, cafes and community pavilion; and the previously completed buildings across the wider masterplan. A striking tower to the north terminates a sequence of taller buildings along Old Kent Road, signalling the start of the masterplan area whilst also moderating in building heights relative to the existing pub opposite. A principal entrance increases active frontage, and apartments benefit from fantastic views of the City of London.

How does the inclusion of amenities within the building’s base enhance the neighbourhood’s character?

These apartment blocks sit on a base that unifies the various elements, incorporating entrances and servicing and a new cinema, cafe and retail space, creating a true gateway to the centre of the new park. The cladding colours and uniform cast fluting create a device that links the bustle of Old Kent Road with the calming respite of the new park, further enhancing the neighbourhood as a connected, walkable place. The base also provides a landscaped podium shared by all residents, nestled within the mature trees that bound the site.

How do the buildings achieve a sense of unity through the use of materials?

The group of buildings are unified by material choices at ground level, whilst individually reflecting the colours and materiality of their neighbours The façade treatment ensures that the buildings share a similar language and read as different elements of the same place using a combination of terracotta and pigmented pre-cast concrete to reflect the masonry heritage of the existing context. The choice of colours for the materials has been influenced by an extensive analysis of the existing and emerging palette. Manufactured and assembled to an unusually high standard with considered and coordinated detailing, it has produced a crisp finish, providing a refreshing alternative to the (almost) ubiquitous use of brick within residential architecture in London today – a fitting Eastern gateway into the new park.

How do the tall buildings within Elephant Park contribute to shaping the visual identity and skyline of the surrounding area?

The tall buildings serve as key focal views of within Elephant Park. H11a Is the first view of Elephant Park when travelling West along New Kent Road, forming the Eastern Gateway. It mediates between the scale of MP3 to the west, and the existing context to the east of Elephant Park. The scale of the buildings reflects the relationship with the neighbouring plots, existing context, and strategic and local views. The mid-rise buildings have a more consistent height and building line to reflect the surrounding context of Rodney Place, Chatteris Way, and Ash Avenue, providing a strong presence on the ground floor.

Sustainability & Building Physics

How did the decision to maximise the use of off-site components impact the construction process?

A key design aspiration was maximise the use of off site components. The aim was to avoid scaffolding, speed up construction, establish an exemplary Health and Safety record and reduce site labour, while ensuring the quality of finish typically only achievable by factory-made products.

Several elements including structural components, plant room walls, pods, façade cladding and glide-on balconies were utilised. This resulted in a significant reduction in site traffic and related carbon emissions, waste and disruption. For example, installation of the precast facades and balconies was faster, safer and required significantly less labour, completed in 96 days with 13 operatives, compared to 200 days with 40 operatives for an equivalent hand-set brick building.

Interior Design

How will the communal spaces and amenities contribute to the residents' overall living experience?

Our collaboration with Lend Lease on the interior design commission offers a fantastic opportunity to create a distinctive living experience. This project encompasses the design of the apartments, communal spaces, and amenities for the build-to-rent block.

Our focus was on designing 118 apartments that are not just aesthetically pleasing, but also functional and comfortable. The ground floor will feature a reception, leasing suite, lounge areas, and back-of-house and service spaces designed to enhance the resident experience. The first floor has house a garden room, a unique space that seamlessly blends the indoors with the outdoors, creating a tranquil co-working and lounge area.

Residents of the eighteenth floor have access to a range of amenities designed to enhance their lifestyle. These include a lounge space with breathtaking views of London, a gym with an outdoor yoga space for fitness enthusiasts, a private dining room for hosting parties, and two small meeting or activity rooms for their convenience. All these spaces are interspersed with roof terraces, providing a unique outdoor experience.