Culture levels up in Peckham

By Natalie Vincent - Fri 8 December 2017, 2:15 pm

A cultural hub built on the site of a disused multi-storey car park in Peckham opens officially tonight.

CGI courtesy of Peckham Levels

Comprising artist studios, workshops, markets and street food outlets, Peckham Levels was created as a co-working space for start-up businesses, local entrepreneurs and artists on the lower seven levels of the Rye Lane car park.

The project was delivered in partnership between developer Make Shift (who created a similar project in Brixton in 2005) and Southwark Council, the Levels were designed by Carl Turner Architects.

The first five levels have been rented out to artists, start-ups and designers, most of whom are local to the area. 

The two top tiers will be open to the public, featuring a floor of food traders including Chinese food vendor Hao Hao Chi, chicken wing specialist Drums & Flats and a vegan cafe.

Southwark magazine spoke to marketing manager Kiera Jolly about the project, ahead of the launch. She praised the community of artists who joined the Levels: "The Peckham Levels and Make Shift teams have been working incredibly hard on Peckham Levels for the last two years; the passion that has gone into making Peckham Levels a reality is something that everyone can feel proud of.

"Everyone I've had the pleasure of meeting has been so driven and so genuine; it's honour that many of these individuals are now members of the studios and/or running businesses on Levels five and six.

"As the marketing manager, I've worked hard to create a vision of something that is yet to exist... tonight, we open our doors and it's finally a reality.

"We are all overwhelmed and cannot wait for all the opportunities that lie ahead".

Community arts collective Intoart, video magazine Guap, design company Playdate, screen printers 3rd Rail and an independent magazine for women of colour, gal-dem, are among those who have taken up residence.

Speaking to Brixton Buzz, site manager Lodewijk Van Den Belt outlined his reasons for creating the project: "Over the last few decades Peckham has developed a huge reputation as a place where grassroots art, music and culture have flourished.

"It's home to some of the most important creative colleges and cultural institutions in London and its cultural impact of the area is celebrated across the country. So that's what we wanted to focus on."