Lendlease has announced its second major ‘meanwhile’ installation at Elephant Park. The Living Room @ Sayer Street helps create a complete high street environment on Sayer Street while the next phase of the £2.5bn regeneration project is completed.
Designed to be a community and place-enhancing installation, The Living Room @ Sayer Street, includes a 70m part-covered structure, three pop-up kiosks for creative and maker businesses, planting, lighting and landscaping. There is also outdoor seating for dwelling or workspace during the day, spill-over at lunch, and evening dining and socialising for the array of eateries that have joined the Sayer Street line-up. A ‘meanwhile wildflower meadow’ completes the experience.
The Living Room is a new asset for the local community and supports the connectivity of an area that would otherwise have had construction hoarding along one of its sides. It delivers a two-sided, fully enhanced street that maximises Elephant’s Park’s attraction throughout the day and evening. And the intention is that, in line with Government guidelines and restrictions, it will fully reopen when the lockdown in England is eased.
This latest meanwhile use follows in the footsteps of the superb Artworks Elephant business incubator space, which provided a community led space for dozens of start-ups and small businesses at Elephant Park between 2014 and 2018. The project played a major role in creating new jobs, providing skills and support to new businesses and helping them to become successful.
The three new maker spaces at the Living Room have already been occupied by creative businesses.
- Run Dem Radio is a community internet radio station, podcast studio and record store. They aim to be the people’s radio, bringing unheard voices to the airwaves as well as a being a catalyst for creativity in the area.
- The Nunhead Gardener is an independently owned group of South London community garden stores providing urban greenery.
- flat 70 is a new home for arts exchange in Elephant and Castle. It’s a function-fluid space for the local creative community, which brings the finest new wave West African art to the streets of London. The space also converts into a photography studio or micro gallery for professional hire.
The sustainable structure, designed by Jan Kattein Architects and Southwark-based BD Landscape Architects, has utilised construction materials that can be re-used in the future, including scaffolding, timber and pre-fabricated maker spaces. And it will be in place for residents and visitors to enjoy as Lendlease makes progress with the next phases of Elephant Park.
There has been recognition of the quality of the design and its role in creating a sense of place and supporting operators as The Living Room @ Sayer Street was included in the 2020 Open House tour programme. Open House is a charity that works with architecture and urban design to make the built environment more accessible and inclusive, and engages with over 250,000 Londoners each year through talks and tours.
The adjoining meanwhile wildflower meadow by BD Landscapes, has also been shortlisted for the Landscape Institute Awards, which are due to be announced at the end of November.
Guy Thomas, Head of Retail at Lendlease, said: “Our installation on Sayer Street is a great example of Lendlease investing in meanwhile use opportunities to support the community’s experience of the public spaces that we are creating. We are committed to ensuring the experience for those spending time at Elephant Park is the best it possibly can be at all stages of the development programme as construction continues.
“Support for local communities is even more significant and essential given the current Covid-19 climate; and investing in delivering attractive and interesting spaces the community can safely enjoy throughout the changing pandemic restrictions is vital. The recognition from Open House and the Landscape Institute Awards is a feather in the cap and testament to Lendlease’s, Jan Kattein Architects and BD Landscape’s vision for Elephant Park.”
Jan Kattein, founder of Jan Kattein Architects, added: “High streets are some of the most important civic spaces in London. To ensure their continued success we must re-invent what they offer socially, culturally and economically. Our design for Sayer Street brings together elements that represent some of London’s best loved streets; creating spaces to meet and wonder, spaces for entertainment and engagement, and spaces of enterprise.
“Working in close collaboration with BD Landscape Architects and Michael Grubb Studios we have used planting and greenery to enclose and frame spaces and light to script a unique night-time experience. Sustainability was one of the central design principles. The re-usable components ensure that the temporary structure has a legacy elsewhere when permanent buildings complete on Sayer Street.”
The Living Room @ Sayer Street forms part of Lendlease’s wider investment in creative solutions for the public realm, joining a wildflower meadow, public art, and innovative light installations that are already in place at Elephant Park.