27 Feb 2013: Its the second week of design for the Elephant and Castle scheme, and we are seeing something from each group - I always think this a small miracle-moment when somehow students make that creative leap, and from such tentative beginnings, a strong design emerges. One thing that is on our mind is that we meet Ivan Jovanovic in a week's time and he is going to be asking tough questions about bioclimatic strategies.
Group KQLX had a strong idea in the first week, and it is developing. It's going to be a handful even for the three of them, because they have so many mixed use ideas in one design.
Group LJQ have an interesting form, with a large 'goalpost' for the tower, and three alternatives for the podium fronting the Elephant and Castle.
Group 'Big Blend' are concentrating on the southern part of the site with a twisting tower and some green park terraces cascading down into St Mary's churchyard.
Group DCWQ are thinking of a twin tower with complex pattern of small cubic forms, and we are wondering about opening up a light shaft down the centre of the taller one, and moving the service cores outwards. Although Montreal's Habitat is a visual inspiration, it was a nightmare to build (in 1967) and more recent tall projects, e.g. by MVRDV, show a way to achieve the effect with less pain.
Group ATA have a twin tower too, but are exploring the form-making result of using triangular forms. There are some advantages in a triangular footprint, but it needs to be larger than this and they have many options to consider for the core position.
Singleton Group Jayanth has a residential tower with a wide south face, and sturdy megastructural frame at the east and west ends.