Sunday 8 November 2009

Stephen Lawrence Centre

The lovely glass which forms the main facade of the Stephen Lawrence Centre on Brookmill Road has finally been replaced. A large part of it was smashed shortly after the centre opened, and it has been boarded up for some time.

The glass was designed by artist Chris Ofili which explains why it has taken so long to replace. It adds a lovely texture to the facade of the building and nicely offsets the rest of the cladding, which is rather utilitarian. However I do think that the glass is best seen at night, when the lighting inside the foyer makes the patterns stand out so much more. Photographs such as the cover picture in the Blueprint article, which you can see here, show the interior lit and patterned beautifully in sunny weather.

If you click on my photo to enlarge it you can see some detail of the pattern.

I do wish that the Centre would interact a bit more with its immediate community - I would love to get the chance to see inside the building, and perhaps even to use it for a night class or something. There's an interesting short film on the centre's website about some of the courses they run for children, but I can't help wanting to be more involved and to contribute in some way.


Anonymous said...

I haven't been passed the centre in a while - have they added some kind of layer of perspex outside the glass too? I understood this was a demand from the insurers and finding the funds to pay for that contributed to the lengthy delay.

Rebecca Portsmouth said...

Thanks for the update - great it's been replaced - and from Sue's comment - that it can't happen again.

I live almost next door to the centre in the OneSE8 development and would love to feel closer to the centre as well. Until signage went up when it was completed, we had no idea what it was - and even now, wish the centre's purpose was more clear or somehow tangible.

Deptford dame said...

@sue it's difficult to see if any changes have been made to the facade, so if they have, it has been done discreetly. Having said that, it's difficult to get close enough to see in detail.

Andrew Brown said...

I walked past this weekend and was pleased to see the glass back and the boards gone.

I too couldn't immediately see any perspex layer, but I wasn't looking. Next time I will though.

Marmoset said...

And I actually thought that they were leaving the boarded-up windows as a symbolic reminder - a bit like the Saro-Wiwa sculpture - of things that get broken and and are then commemorated. Seriously.

But there's not enough going on in there or thereabouts - it simply doesn't feel alive. Funding?

Anonymous said...

They've certainly not built it on the cheap. I am so hoping this centre returns something to show for all the chris ofili glass (twice over). It's the sort of initiative that could really backfire otherwise.

Unknown said...

Looks like a high-security prison!

Savannah said...

A complementary article

Two police officers arrested for withholding vital evidence in Stephen Lawrence inquiry

OR visit