Southwark Council and Lend Lease have named the architects chosen to design the new Elephant & Castle Leisure Centre and the housing development alongside it.
The council recently agreed to sell the front half of the current leisure centre site to Lend Lease to help fund the development of a new swimming pool and sports centre on the remainder of the site.
S&P architects, who have been working with Zaha Hadid Architects on the design of the aquatic centre for the 2012 London Olympics, have been appointed by the council to design the new leisure centre which will include a new six lane 25-metre swimming pool, learner pool, sports hall, gym, exercise studios, spinning room, creche and cafe (and possibly some squash courts too).
"The appointment of these two architects marks the start of an exciting project to add to the improvements in leisure opportunities, such as St Mary's Churchyard, which have already happened on site," says Cllr Fiona Colley, Southwark's cabinet member for regeneration.
"The leisure centre project will be of huge interest to the public and will form part of a hub of cultural, leisure and shopping opportunities for visitors and people living locally."
On the front of the same site Lend Lease has appointed Squire and Partners to design a new residential building next to the Metropolitan Tabernacle.
The same firm designed the high-profile One Tower Bridge development which recently received planning permission for the Potters Fields coach park site.
Lend Lease says that it is "considering" a tall building on the site; last month a council report said that the development is likely to take the form of a "30-storey plus residential tower"
“The combination of the new leisure centre and the Martha Schwartz-designed churchyard park creates a wonderful opportunity for a vibrant community space complemented with outdoor cafe and dining space adjacent to the park," says Rob Deck, Elephant & Castle project director at Lend Lease.
"The leisure centre site forms a key location within the Elephant & Castle and we want this building to showcase the quality of design we propose for the remainder of the regeneration scheme.”
Southwark Council and Lend Lease will hold a public consultation later this year to present design options to residents.
Separate planning applications will be submitted for the two halves of the site. If everything runs to schedule, the current leisure centre will close next summer with its replacement due for completion in spring 2014 and the residential building following two years later.
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