The uncertainty of Elephant & Castle shopping centreSpeculative Design
Will the regeneration programme make Elephant & Castle region closer to “ideal”?
Being known for its distinctive name and an important transport interchange, Elephant & Castle is a region far away from a symbol of decent. Quite frankly, the street view here gives people a complicated image- shabby, chaotic, but lively.
Actually, the quality of the environment in this region has improved in recent years. According to my friend who has lived opposite the Elephant & Castle tube station, chain stores inside the shopping centre open successively, public security is getting better, and the undergoing regeneration programme might bring more positive effects.
In the blueprint of regeneration programme, this plan will bring more constructions and development, including the new architecture of London College of Communication. The area has economic potential to be the “Piccadilly of the South”, town centre for working and residency, a hub of entertainment for visitors. As a student learning on this campus, I have to say I am glad to see the progress toward this direction.
But is this the direction which “ideal” to everyone?
Walking around in bustling Elephant & Castle shopping centre, under the shambolic appearance of a ghetto of stalls, Latin American food, prehistoric dry cleaners and massage chairs will show you an unexpected trip of the vibrant culture. It gathers the mutual memories of residents here as well.
This world is already full of Starbucks, H&M and Apple electronics. Do we really need another duplication of Piccadily Circus and watch this world get more and more similar?