The Phase 01 Park at Elephant Park

Elephant and Castle, London, UK

The Phase 01 Park at Elephant Park

The Phase 01 Park provides the first 0.4 hectares of the final ‘centrepiece park’ that will sit at the heart of the emerging Elephant Park Masterplan, an exciting new neighbourhood on the site of the former Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle. The park provides a temporary community space with plenty of opportunities for play, walking, exercise, relaxation and socialising.

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The Phase 01 Park, which opened in spring 2017, is the first phase of the future (permanent) park at Elephant Park, which will be delivered across two phases. Enclosed by bespoke, colourful hoarding on three sides, the temporary park has been designed to offer a valuable green space for the existing and emerging communities of Elephant and Castle.

The park is accessed off Castle Square, a new public space which forms the gateway to Elephant Park. The square is lined with a series of seasonal and colourful planted 'islands' that celebrate the arrival of the park within the Elephant and Castle area. The planting in the square and within the park has been carefully selected according to their environmental needs and arranged in a naturalistic way, to create a complex environmental system able to withstand urban stresses such as drought or extreme weather. The temporary nature of some areas of the park provided a unique opportunity for the design team to use the scheme as a ‘testbed’ for sustainability, allowing the testing of specific planting typologies and rain gardens which will eventually form the perimeter of the future park.

The bespoke hoarding provides a temporary play wall, offering a mixture of play challenges, including climbing structures, slides, ropes and ladders and a sandpit. The Park also provides natural play elements and playable landscape throughout as well as bespoke water play feature.

The park design has been developed in close consultation with the surrounding community, local authority and key stakeholders, and capitalises on the existing mature trees within the park and the masterplan.