Talking Elephant Park; Elephant and Castle architects Johnson Naylor on designing Park & Sayer interiors
The captivating and perfectly proportioned interiors of Park & Sayer share the same vision as its architecture - it’s all about community and green open space. The project’s shared interior areas evoke a natural, leafy and welcoming aesthetic - somewhat a specialty of Clerkenwell-based design company Johnson Naylor which has built a reputation for timeless, inventive and contextual design for residential projects such as Park & Sayer. We sat down with founding partner Fiona Naylor and company partner Barrie Legg to discover more about Park & Sayer at Elephant Park; Elephant and Castle’s sleekest new address.
Q - Situated on the 24th floor, the skylounge is an engaging mix of landscaped terraces and intimate spaces. A truly special sanctuary. How did the spectacular views from the skylounge impact the interior architecture?
BL: We think of the skylounge as a rooftop glass pavilion. The views from here are absolutely spectacular, and it will be a special place for residents. When you are up there, the skyline of London is your true horizon and the building’s own fins frame the views perfectly. Day and night, using the skylounge will be a constantly changing experience and we have designed the spaces to overlap, creating lounges and workspaces to use as you choose.
Q - What do you anticipate being most proud of at Park & Sayer?
BL: There is a sense of connection, a true locality - a neighbourhood, and as a resident enjoying the amenities at ground first, and particularly on the 24th floor, the spaces will make you feel part of the community that lives there.
Q- What sets the project apart from others in London?
FN: It’s rare that you get involved in a project that has critical mass, one that fundamentally opens up the area. While the project embraces the changes of Elephant Park, Elephant & Castle’s rich history is also deeply respected.
Q - Has the heritage of the neighbourhood fed into the interior architecture and design?
BL: We started by trying to mesh the ground floor space of the building with the environment beyond, an area once known as ‘The Piccadilly of South London’. Our feeling was that it had to feel alive, inviting and sociable and embrace the landscape connecting the park to the entrance and the podium garden.
Q - How else has the park influenced the design?
BL: A double height entrance space at Park & Sayer has a mezzanine level, which looks over the reception, back out to the street and the landscaped roof of the pavilion and park beyond. The sight lines always draw you back to the park.
The balustrade on that mezzanine level becomes a working ledge, looking straight out to the trees. We reconnect the people to the park visually, and to the ground floor through a double height void. It’s a space to enjoy being in.
Q - How will your work develop a sense of community?
BL: We initially had distinct spaces with strict edges and limits to their use. We developed the idea that you can embody these uses, these characteristics, in objects and spaces that have multiple overlapping uses. We start from the people, how they will use the space and then let these uses overlap and evolve by design.
For more information on Park & Sayer, and to register your interest in the apartments, visit the website here.