A leading architect believes Croydon needs to recapture the spirit of the 1960s to move away from its "concrete jungle" image.

Ken Shuttleworth, whose practice Make has drawn up plans for an iconic 55-storey residential tower in Cherry Orchard Road, in partnership with Menta, was speaking at the launch of the New Croydon Architecture & Design Exhibition in the Sun Lounge at Fairfield Halls on Monday, June 25th.

Architects and developers who are shaping the future look of Croydon are attending the exhibition and will debate the past, present and future of the town.

Mr Shuttleworth said: "It is fantastic to be able to celebrate some of the highlights that are going to take Croydon forward in the next generation. We have had visions in the past that have been insane but this all looks very do-able now.

"After the City and Docklands, Croydon is the third biggest business district for London – this is the next big opportunity and the place to be.

"Croydon has always had this negative concrete jungle image but the council is now actively trying to get rid of that by encouraging high quality designers, high quality architects into the environment and working around the town.

"What happened here in the 1960s was about an incredible bold vision but we need more emphasis on the public realm this time. However, we need to capture that spirit of the 1960s to make Croydon a better place.

"Some of the best minds in the country and major developers from around the world are focussed on enhancing the reputation of Croydon."

All of the prestige developments, which are set to transform the south London town over the next decade, are showcasing their visions at the event.

John Burton, director of development of Westfield, said: "We are very grateful for this opportunity to be here and to sponsor this event.

"When I look around at what is at this exhibition I can see that design and architecture is truly winning out against over what were historically very developer-led approaches to master planning, to design and urban realm.

"I am glad to see that there is absolute quality here, the vision is here. Everyone is interested in Croydon and they regard this as the next piece of London’s opportunity."

Councillor Jason Perry, Croydon Council cabinet member for planning, transport and sustainability, added: "Croydon may not be the first place that springs to mind when considering architectural quality.

"However, Croydon does possess a large number of architectural styles reflecting many different periods of our historic growth from the country seats of the Archbishops of Canterbury, through to a prosperous Surrey market town into the 1960s development that make Croydon what it is today.

"This rich distinctiveness provides a foundation for a new generation of architecture and we are proud to have some of the best British architects working in Croydon and we are fortunate that the developers in Croydon are investing in such good design."

The exhibition is open from 11am to 6pm Monday to Friday, with extended hours when there is a performance at Fairfield Halls.

Spaces for events are limited and tickets can be booked at www.newcroydonarchitecture.co.uk