8th December 2023

Engineering the futuristic landscape of Elephant Park

Elephant Park, an innovative new mixed-use development nestled in the heart of Elephant and Castle, has been making substantial strides toward redefining urban living.

This regeneration project, with a vision of creating a vibrant community, aims to create approximately 3,000 new homes, alongside eateries and outdoor space, in a bid to turn Elephant and Castle into the ultimate hotspot for both locals and tourists.

This ambitious venture kicked off in 2020 and is scheduled for full completion in 2025. Our team was initially appointed to offer advice on one of the storefronts, designing the shopfront glazing and aluminium curtain walling for the structure. However, we were further instructed to lend our expertise to revamp the exteriors of an additional four restaurant fronts, namely Cheeky Chicos, Four Hundred Rabbits, The Rosy Hue, and Kokoro.

There was a recurring problem with the four shop front facades, as the transoms[LB1]  spanned a considerable distance, and they intended to suspend the bifold doors from them. The team tackled this by dividing the screen using a steel RHS between the jamb mullions to provide the required vertical stiffness to uphold the bifold doors. This solution necessitated careful consideration of the differential movement between the aluminium and steel, given their distinct behaviours at varying temperatures, to ensure no excessive bearing forces were exerted on the fixings.

Another unexpected challenge was the projecting awning on the Four Hundred Rabbits unit. Our team had taken into account the wind load for the entire structure. However, we then needed to calculate the force exerted by the awning on the structure, accounting for the potential bending moment caused by both uplift and downward pressure from the wind.

For the Cheeky Chicos storefront, the screen was hung from above, primarily because the bi-fold doors covered a large span, necessitating an unconventional approach from our team headed up by Jake Parsell. By suspending the screen from above, all the dead load was directed to the head, while the movement joints at the base connections were managed accordingly. This method differed from the conventional glass front, where the load distribution would typically be the other way around.

The Elephant Park project has revived the area with several green spaces. When the project is completed, Elephant Park will be climate-positive, including an Energy Hub which enables the delivery of net zero-carbon hot water and heating to all new homes. The project’s sustainability brief enabled Perega to show off our low-carbon approach to engineering, advising on double-glazed units, meticulously selected to meet stringent U-Value and thermal performance criteria, underscoring the commitment to energy efficiency and sustainable design.

Jake Parsell, Structural Engineer, says “Working on the Elephant Park regeneration has been a very exciting project to be a part of. By revamping the facades of numerous restaurants and storefronts, and overcoming some unique structural challenges, our team has played a central role in creating this new vibrant community space in Elephant and Castle. We look forward to seeing the finished product in 2025.”

To find out more about Perega’s work in the leisure sector, click here.