Future Elephant Park

the new landmark of Southwark

Elephant Park will be Central London’s largest new park to be built in the past 70 years. Lendlease, the contractor for the park, aimed to develop the in two phases: the current open half of the park and the future park that would fulfill the needs and wants of the local residents.

Client

Lendlease

London College of Communication 

Brief

Our aim is to find out how Local Residents already use, or want to use Elephant Park to Relax, Socialise, and Play..

The challenge:

How might we assess the public attitudes to the already open ‘Phase 1’ sector, and to conceptualize the future proposal on ‘Phase 2’, as that’s where the possible treehouse structure and playground hub will be situated?

My Role

The team used a human-centered approach because we wanted to find authentic insights and innovative ideas from the local community that would be the people who will stand to benefit from it. This approach also ensures the development reflects the local character and aspirations of the local community, as defined by themselves.

Methodology

Using the Double Diamond method, we split our time into 4 phases. This iterative process creates cycles of ideation, refinement and testing to ensure solid outcomes.

Process

RESEARCH

 

Considering the time and scope of a three weeks project, we decided to focus our research on Local Residents and the Latin American Community. We collaborated iteratively throughout with the Superarts Dance Academy, which is a family-run performance arts school with over 130 children currently on the register as well as Draper Together, which is a charity promoting community cohesion by providing opportunities to the residents of the Draper Estate and their neighbors in Elephant and Castle. On the side, conducted extensive online research on different types of inspirations for Elephant park. 

Different Inspirations found after online research 

IDEATE

Merging our primary and secondary research and ideas, we developed a strategy for the final stage.

 

As an overarching theme, the idea of incorporating literal interpretations of elephants will provide a visual language for the prototype.

Some Ideas for treehouse:

  • Tree to tree rope playground, with different ways to climb the tree

  • The outside is covered with the flags from across the world to show inclusivity

  • Binoculars on the roof of the treehouse, looking around the park.

  • Weekly events in the treehouse space (e.g parties, meetings)

  • Multi-use space with different functions and activities. 

  • Have card games/tombola for senior citizens. 

  • Transparent walls for visibility

  • Different layers of tree houses to consider for different groups

PROTOTYPE & TEST

Using different materials such as LEGO, paper, and cardboard, we created simple versions of the treehouse.

The above two pictures show a multi-layer treehouse design. The flooring is expected to be transparent and the view transparent all around. 

We also created an elephant version so we could test both ideas with our stakeholder groups.

Tree House

The treehouse is the new landmark of Elephant & Castle, an elephant-shaped structure with the elephant's trunk as a fountain.

A place where people can come and participate in the list of activities, such as Dance lessons, martial arts, yoga, zombi, etc, performed in the treehouse.

It is a transparent multi-floor setup that has transparent boundaries. The treehouse space for kids to be confided in safe boundaries.

On the top is a castle structure that has the view of the whole park and gives a view of Elephant and Castle

The Gym

Elephants, especially strong young bulls test strength by pushing over trees. A sculpture depicting the activity near the gym area will inspire the people to work out harder. 

 

The gym setup can be designed as instruments made from the jungle such as trees and rocks.

The Playground

Elephants love to play with their cubs. A sculpture of an elephant playing with its cub can inspire parents to actively play more with their kids. The elephant shape of the equipment can engage the kids with curiosity and awe. 

The Relaxation Area

Elephants are found to be sleeping 4 hours a day and out of that 2 hours a day is spent standing on their feet. A sculpture depicting the fact can provide a message that humans can relax and rest in this space just by being in this space. 

 

However, the area will have a netted seating area for people to lay down and enjoy the sun during the summer season. 

The Stage

The stage is redesigned after considering the recommendations of different stakeholders. The stage has to be a third deeper in width and a meter higher than the normal surface. The stage will have a plain background, where cinemas can be projected. Additionally, the stage will have a covered backstage area for performers as a changing area. 

ELEPHANT PARK

The Park is located behind the Elephant and Castle overground station. 

© 2019 Ishan Vats Jha