As LCC’s brand new students arrive and settle in to life in and around Elephant & Castle, we explore the area’s essential attractions for anyone passionate about design, media and the arts.
The College’s single site is right in London’s creative heartland, close to internationally renowned museums, galleries, studios and other arts venues.
Within a few minutes’ walk from the College is Hotel Elephant, a versatile warehouse gallery space and studio behind 40-42 Newington Causeway regularly used for LCC student shows.
Independent arts complex Corsica Studios is just behind the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre and focuses on breeding local creativity and culture.
Also immediately accessible from the College is the Imperial War Museum, which recently reopened following a £40m transformation and includes collections of aircraft, photography, art, weapons, films and posters among much more.
The Cinema Museum on nearby Dugard Way charts the history of cinema from the 1890s to the present day, while Southwark Playhouse on Newington Causeway promotes and stages work by the next generation of theatre-makers.
LCC final-year students graduated in July at the Royal Festival Hall, part of the world-famous Southbank Centre arts complex, which is just 20 minutes’ walk away. Southbank’s Hayward Gallery has played host to exhibitions by LCC Research staff including Jananne Al-Ani’s Excavations earlier this year.
This section of the Thames is also home to BFI (British Film Institute) Southbank, where this year’s departing film and television students screened their graduation films in June.
Not far away is the world-famous Tate Modern, with which LCC regularly collaborates – for example, in a series of recent Sonic Trails created by sound arts students.
Just a little further east is the Design Museum, the world’s leading museum dedicated to contemporary design from graphics to furniture, architecture and industrial design.
Directly south of Elephant & Castle, Peckham has a thriving and expanding art and design scene, including the South London Gallery, which has a fantastic reputation for contemporary art exhibitions and events.
Print fans and practitioners should explore Peckham Print Studio, an open access and commercial screen printing enterprise which also hosts workshops and events.
LCC students have displayed their own work at The CLF Art Café aka The Bussey Building, a 120-year-old warehouse space and events venue, while charity-run gallery Peckham Platform presents community- and place-driven contemporary visual arts.
South Kensington is only minutes away from Elephant & Castle on public transport and is home to many museums including the V&A, who have commissioned an interactive installation for LCC’s Mini Maker Faire in November.
The neighbouring Science Museum dedicated much of its gallery space to LCC’s interaction design students during a Lates event this year, with our budding designers creating fun and dynamic exhibits that demonstrated medical concepts to museum visitors.
In London’s West End, just a short trip from the College by bus or tube, the busy Prince Charles Cinema opened its doors to media practice third-years in June for an all-evening showing of their final work.
The centre of the city is of course also packed with creative agencies, galleries and studios of all kinds and provides inspiration and opportunity to all of LCC’s undergraduates and postgraduates.
We hope that our new and returning students enjoy the best of what creative London has to offer – these are just a handful of the highlights. The possibilities are endless so get exploring!