Peckham Levels will be our second innovative workplace campus, delivered in collaboration with the social enterprise, Makeshift, and designed to support and inspire a new community of artists, makers and entrepreneurs.
The commission to transform seven levels (8,700 sqm) of an existing underused multi-storey carpark into a creative hub, for a meanwhile period of five years, was won by the practice through an open ideas competition run by Southwark Council in September 2015. The celebrated arts organisation Bold Tendencies and the popular Frank’s Bar will remain independently on the top two levels.
Our approach is to create a backdrop against which the work of the artists can take centre stage. To foster creativity the project must act as a blank canvas and allow its users to feel free to experiment without worrying about damaging or altering the space. Our proposal celebrates the material qualities of the car park’s existing concrete structure with a light-touch, low-tech approach and a material palette to express the meanwhile nature of the project. Performative elements such as curtains, screens and movable partitions will lend a responsive, almost theatrical atmosphere to the car park’s rejuvenated floors.
The project will deliver specialist facilities including creative studios, shared workshops, co-working, maker space, kiln rooms, 3D printing, among other uses and will be home to a diverse community of tenants, ranging from individual start-ups to organisations working in arts & culture. A public floor will create a platform for visitors to interact with the tenants in a place of encounter and exchange. Conceived as a ‘kunsthaus’ the project will act as a social space in the heart of Peckham with free event space, a gallery, bars, a restaurant and a community café. Peckham Levels will also bring benefits to the wider community through a series of initiatives offering training, education and employment opportunities, with the intention to create 600 jobs over the lifetime of the project. Further details available here.