Architect Earle Arney on designing Park & Sayer: vibrant new Elephant and Castle apartments
Park & Sayer is a vibrant community first, and a chic block of 229 one- and two-bedroom apartments second. Meticulously designed by renowned architects Arney Fender Katsalidis, in collaboration with celebrated interior designers Johnson Naylor, they have wellness and a sense of place that is as deep-rooted as the trees which line Elephant Park’s skyline. AFK’s founder Earle Arney talks us through the process of designing the Elephant & Castle apartments.
Q - What are your principal considerations when designing residential buildings for London?
EA: Great buildings centre on three things: quality of space, the location and the amenity - things that this development provides - and in how it relates to and activates its surroundings. Since the pandemic, these principles are more important than ever as our work and home lives have blurred.
Q - What has driven your approach to the architecture and materiality of Park & Sayer?
EA: Park & Sayer is very much born of its site, with a robust expression and materiality a homage to Elephant and Castle’s rich, vibrant palette. From its historic brick buildings to its contemporary structures, we have weaved this inspiration together to create a modern, readable building, with a distinct identity. Park & Sayer is wrapped by Elephant Park; an incredible expanse of green space which is quite extraordinary in Central London. Just having that on our doorstep is something we also wanted to celebrate and connect with through this architecture.
Q - Elephant & Castle’s apartments benefit from an abundance of outdoor space. How has Park & Sayer’s parkside position influenced your approach to the design?
EA: It’s a privilege working on a development with such an expanse of green space. We were keen to emphasise the park in the design by ‘threading’ it through the building and its amenity spaces. This includes the park informing the central courtyard, which is an outstanding natural space, maximising the stunning parkside views from the apartments, and ensuring that residents and visitors are drawn into the park visually from the retail at ground level activating the street.
Q - With wellness so central to residents’ agenda, how does Park & Sayer address this?
EA: Wellness is always front and centre of our thinking and for us this depends upon ensuring the very best in residential design standards but also in amenity. Park & Sayer has this in spades. We’ve created apartments that are designed from the inside out to the highest standards, with ample space, capturing as much daylight as we can, and maximised storage. The amenity is also great for wellness, from the roof terraces and gardens where residents can relax and unwind, to the common spaces and lounges which fit around residents’ lifestyles - not to mention Elephant Park itself.
Q - There are two aspects to Park & Sayer, The Tower and Boulevard Mansions, have you addressed these separately or as one?
EA: It was really exciting for us to adjust the balance between the textures, colouration and tonality of two very different building types: The Tower and Boulevard Mansions at Park & Sayer. The tower is an elegant, prominent structure of considerable height, so it has slender proportions, darker tones and a strong vertical rhythm. The mansion block is much more grounded in the street grid, so it echoes the more traditional language, earthy tonality and textures of historic London mansion blocks.
Although in effect the two buildings are an orchestrated ‘collision’ between styles, there is a common dialogue between them, achieved by weaving in elements of the other to create a harmonious expression for both and a unified whole.
Q - How does Park & Sayer’s architectural language fit into the greater vision for the neighbourhood?
EA: Park & Sayer’s architectural language is highly considered and walks a distinct line, as the newest Elephant & Castle apartments, between respect for the rich character and history of the area while still sitting comfortably within the emerging transformation and greater vision for the neighbourhood. This fusion of heritage and contemporary means that as a community evolved and changes, Park & Sayer will grow with it.
For more information on Park & Sayer, and to register your interest in the apartments, visit the website here.