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Lifestyle ElEphant & CastlE


What’s in anamE?


TheElephantandCastle -knownbyLondoners simplyas‘TheElephant’- hasnowvirtually replacedNewington as thenamegiventoa series ofmajor traffic intersectionsandahuge roundabout just south of theriverThames that areconnectedbyashort sectionof theA3. To theeast is the


eponymous Elephant andCastleShopping Centre, withanoffice blockcalledHannibal Houseontop.TheStrata Tower standsonthe WalworthRoad 148-metres abovethenowpartly demolishedHeygateEstate – formerlyhometomore than 3000 residents-andjust


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Spanish princesses connectedtoEnglish history.Wikipedia offersanalternative, suggestingtheareawas namedafteracoaching innthat took itsname fromthecoat of armsof theWorshipfulCompany ofCutlers, featuringan elephant withahowdah (orcastle)onits back because of theuse of ivory in cutleryhandles Famous former


ElephantandCastle residents includeCharlie


southof theshoppingcentre. Urbanmythwouldhave


us believethat thestrange nameof theareaisa corruptionof “laInfanta de Castilla”,whichcould refer toanyoneofanumberof


ChaplinandMichaelCaine andthearea is alsohome to theLondonSouthBank University, theLondon College ofCommunication andtheMinistryofSound nightclub.


therecord forLondon’s tallest residential building.Marking thefirst stageofthe Elephant andCastleregenerationproject, since itscompletionin2010the towerhas proved controversial. Once votedLondon’s ugliest building,Strata’sdramaticarchitectural style and vertical-striped exterior dominate theSouth London skyline. With itsstriking triple turbines visible formiles andsharply angled rooftop thespectaculartower could easily be hometo asci-fi villain.Instead it houses 408well-appointedapartmentswith four commercial units on the ground floor. Of these, 98 apartments areaffordable/housing associationand allthe others areinprivate ownership. Thecost of each apartment depended on size,location in thetower and views, rangingfrom £200,000 to £2.5M. Groundrents at Strata varydepending on


apartmentsize,whichrangesfrom studios to thepenthouse.Differentservice charging structures also applydepending on anumber of factorsincluding location in thebuilding –iethe top half of thebuilding benefitsfrom comfortcooloingand adedicated lift –orif youhaveacar parkingspace.The building management has assessed the lifecycle of repairs and spares and is already collecting


Spring2012 Flat Living


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