Saturday, 19 May 2018

Stephen Lawrence Centre fences to go!


It's not often that I am sufficiently moved to put an exclamation mark in a headline, but when I discovered that the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust had submitted a planning application for new landscaping around its building on Brookmill Road, and when I realised that this new landscaping includes TEARING DOWN THE FENCES, my heart sang.



I've always felt that this was a woefully unfriendly building - even finding the entrance door can be a challenge - and the fencing around it makes it look more like a Northern Irish police station at the height of the Troubles than the community building it is intended to be. This may be the reason I've never been inside. I don't dislike the building itself, just the overtly unwelcoming face it offers to its neighbours. 

Unfortunately the building was vandalised just a week after opening in 2008; the huge wall of glass designed by Chris Ofili was smashed by bricks thrown from outside the perimeter in what was dubbed a racist attack at the time. The fences failed to prevent the attack - finally they are going to be removed and hopefully the centre will start to have a more neighbourly relationship with the local area. 


First phase of the centre's reinvention was this week's launch of the new 'co-working' space which featured in Wallpaper magazine. It seems that the next phase will address the poor public realm on the site itself, and its relationship with Deptford.

There's not much in the way of renderings in the planning application, but the main change is going to be the removal of the steel fences and the gates, with just a low wall retained. A new pedestrian  route into the site will be created right in front of the building entrance, and a range of landscaping, picnic tables and raised planting will be installed within the site. On the Brookmill Park boundary there will be raised allotment beds.




I look forward to getting a full length view of the magnificent windows. 


1 comment:

Manoj Sharma -India Trip Designer said...

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