Troubling news from London: The Southwark council has rejected plans by gallerist Hannah Barry and cultural venue Second Home to convert the Peckham car park known for hosting Bold Tendencies into 800 affordable artists studios. The council gave the contract instead to the more commercial Pop Community Ltd, who will build 50 artists’ studios alongside “multi-use event spaces, pop-up retail and cafe/bar.” That gentrification happened quick, especially considering mere years ago galleries like Arcadia Missa and Sunday Painter were considered neighborhood trailblazers.
A couple excerpts from the Guardian report are below. Full article here.
Southwark council has rejected plans that would have transformed a multistorey car park in south London into 800 affordable artists’ studios.
The council has instead opted for a rival proposal for the building in Peckham from a Mayfair-based property developer.
Some of the most influential cultural figures in the UK, including the directors of the Tate Modern and the Serpentine Gallery, backed the Bold Home project, which would have provided much-needed cheap studios for artists at a time when such spaces are dwindling.
Southwark council opted for Pop Community Ltd’s application, which will only offer 50 artists’ studios in alongside “multi-use event spaces, pop-up retail and cafe/bar”. The development is a partnership between Carl Turner Architects and multimillion property developers The Collective, a business which is likely to target “ambitious young professionals”.
Bold Home was a grassroots collaboration between Bold Tendencies – a cultural arts organisation operating from the south London car park and run by local gallery owner Hannah Barry – and Second Home, a cultural venue run by Rohan Silva and Sam Aldenton.
He and Barry were adamant that the community of Peckham would have benefited from their plans, which included paying Southwark council £200,000 a year in rent. Artists in residence would have had to pay just £100 in rent a month, and they claim the plans would have supported 2,500 local jobs – compared with the 600 generated by Pop Collective’s proposal.
The Collective, which won the bid, has also been criticised for a similar project nearby, Pop Brixton, which was described as a “community campus for local business”. Pop Brixton has enraged some locals at what they believe was a substantial change in direction of the project from its original horticultural roots to a more business focussed venture.
The Bold Home project also had the backing of some of the most notable cultural figures in the art world, including the co-directors of the Serpentine Gallery, Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist; Tate Modern’s outgoing director, Chris Dercon, and Wentworth, a former professor of sculpture at the Royal College of Art. They all expressed concern about how artists were being driven out of both London and the UK as soaring property prices made the capital increasingly unaffordable.