Peckham Observatory

Cooke Fawcett Architects, London, 2017

 

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A spectacular new viewing gallery and kiosk for Bold Tendencies, the arts space on the top of the now famous multi-storey car park in Peckham.

The observatory, which provides new perspectives on the specially commissioned art installations as well as breathtaking views across London, was launched in July 2017 and completed with lighting designed by Es Devlin in 2018.

The 3.5m-wide raised platform spans the entire width of the car park, its steel support beams cantilevered at both ends. Two staircases at either side provide an elevated promenade and on the northern tip the balustrade position at the half-landing provides unencumbered views of London.

The deck and steps are made of full-width hardwood timber decking. Timber handrails on the upper level are angled to provide natural places to lean and rest, taking in the artwork and activities taking place on the roof of the car park, with Frank’s Bar at the far end.

Nestled underneath the steelwork is a timber-framed box painted dark blue. This kiosk brings together different elements of Bold Tendencies' multifaceted programming and provides space for staff, information point, ticket booth and shop. It also acts as a hub for the Bold Everywhere educational programme.

The brief called for a functional focal point, a kiosk to support musical and educational events at the car park. Beyond this starting point the design augments the visitor experience and provides a platform for visual art, music and theatre commissions.

The design relates to the existing car park structure, taking its utilitarian language as a direct inspiration. Since its completion, in the spirit of infrastructure supporting creative production, the observatory has housed and been backdrop to several new artistic commissions. Most recently the structure became a temporary open-air cinema to screen Es Devlin’s film ‘The Order of Time’.

Data

  • Begun: May 2017
  • Completed: Jul 2017
  • Floor area: 22m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £75,000
  • Funding: Charitable
  • Tender date: Apr 2017
  • Procurement: Negotiated
  • Address: Bold Tendencies , 7th - 10th Floors Multi-Storey Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, London, SE15 4TG, United Kingdom

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