Peveril Gardens and Studios London, Old Kent Road Building Redesign, South London Property News

Peveril Gardens and Studios in London

22 July 2022

Location: Old Kent Road, south London, England, UK – south end of Tower Bridge Road, SE1

Design: Sanchez Benton Architects with Gabriel Kuri and Nigel Dunnett

Peveril Gardens and Studios London
photo © Oskar Proctor

Photos: © Max Creasy and © Oskar Proctor

Peveril Gardens and Studios, England

In 2018, Sanchez Benton won a competition, originally intended for the creation of a piece of public art at the southern end of Tower Bridge Road. Ingeniously, Sanchez Benton, in collaboration with artist Gabriel Kuri, instead saw the potential to transform, what is now Peveril Gardens and Studios, a disused garage with a raised podium terrace on the edge of the Bricklayers Arms roundabout into a public walled garden and ground level artist studios to support a thriving arts community.

Peveril Gardens and Studios London
photo © Oskar Proctor

The existing podium offered an opportunity to make a flourishing walled public garden in which the varied planting scheme, designed in collaboration with horticulturist Nigel Dunnett, has the capacity to survive periods of long drought and neglect, to future-proof the ecosystem for an increasingly warmer climate.

Peveril Gardens and Studios London
photo © Oskar Proctor

During initial investigations, the condition of the existing waterproofing to the raised terrace was found to need a complete upgrade. This repair utilised most of the available budget, forcing all other interventions to the existing structure to be kept to a minimum. Three large openings were punched through the first-floor slab, one for a public stair to the garden, the second for a large central skylight providing a daylit airiness to the arts centre below. The third is an opening for a new mature tree to grow through and provide shade under its canopy at first floor level with its roots firmly planted in the ground.

Old garages that once occupied the ground floor have been transformed into artist studios and a café, all organised around a central events space, where a cultural programme organised by Forma Arts is hosted on a weekly basis. Key to the success of the gardens is their combination with the Arts use, where the latter offers stewardship of the public space, securing it after dark and creating a sense of natural surveillance.

Peveril Gardens and Studios London
photo © Max Creasy

The project showcases the ambition of the design team and the vision of the client to see the potential for the retrofit of this unloved brutalist structure for wider cultural benefit. In addition to using an air-source heat pump, the building achieves significant embodied carbon savings through reuse rather than rebuild. The choice of materials, reuse of the original garage features and finish creates a light, characterful and joyful set of inside and outside spaces for a wide variety of adaptable uses.

Peveril Gardens and Studios in London, England – Building Information

RIBA region: London
Architect practice: Sanchez Benton Architects with Gabriel Kuri and Nigel Dunnett
Date of completion: 11 2020
Date of occupation: 11 2020
Client company name: London Borough of Southwark
Project city/town: London

Contract value: £369,000.00
Gross internal area: 672.00 sqm
Net internal area: 648.00 sqm
Cost per sqm: £549.00 / sqm
Contractor company name: Brac Contracts

Structural Engineers: Price & Myers
Landscape Architects: Nigel Dunnett
Artist: Gabriel Kuri
Public Art Curator: Aldo Rinaldi

• RIBA Regional Award
• Regional Project Architect of the Year
• Regional Award Short List
• London Southwest

Photograohy © Max Creasy and © Oskar Proctor

Peveril Gardens and Studios, London images / information received 220722 from the RIBA

Location: Old Kent Road, Southwark, South London, England, United Kingdom

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