In London you have many neighbourhoods just outside the city center, which shows a lot of decay and vacancy. In such neighborhoods there is often space for experimentations and temporary programs. Interventions are being implemented for the short term, to determine what it will yield in the long term.
Something that often has a positive effect on the revitalisation of the district. More diversity in program, art and culture, bringing people together, meetings are taking place. People from outside will visit the neighborhood and get another view of the area. The surroundings are becoming more attractive and the government sees potential. Old buildings are being replaced for new buildings or will be permanently refurbished. The district gets an economic boost and can be on the windshield for a long time. It is what you often see in so-called ‘power districts’.
One of those places in London, is Peckham. An upcoming area in South-East London. We grabbed an Uber and decided to take a look at this emerging district and to visit some local initiatives.
One of the cool places we went to in Peckham, was the Peckhamplex. An industrial building, hidden behind a shopping street, which serves as a creative collective building. For example, you will find a cinema, various studios, events and exhibition rooms, and at the top of the roof an open-air gallery and Frank’s Cafe where you can enjoy the view while having a bite or drink.
Despite the fresh weather, we decided to take a seat at one of the many picnic tables. This is one of the meeting areas in this places. Groups of people of all ages gathered and enjoyed themselves all afternoon. Just as we did, we ordered some snacks, like salty green peppers, mussels and bread with aubergine smear. And matching, a gin-tonic.
Frank’s Cafe also offers fun events, such as an open-air cinema, concerts and dj-nights. One of the staffmembers told us that it would be the last day of the season. Until April, Frank’s Cafe unfortunately will be closed. During the spring/summer period there is plenty to do on the immensely large roof terrace. We will definitely be back in springtime.
We continued our tour through Peckham, recommended by the staff of Frank’s Cafe, to another highsee, a computergame cafe, Four Quarters. A cafe full of vintage pinball boxes and other game cabinets. After having flipped, raced and shot we pulled up targeting another cool complex which also serves as a collecting house for artists and other creatives. Once we’ve passed the gate, we really felt like we were in old Berlin. Industrial, artists, design, murals, bricks, foodtrucks, and also a cool roof terrace, calls Bussey Rooftop Terrace, that attracts many visitors daily.
What a lively environment. There is so much to see and discover in terms of art & culture. On the street, shops, restaurants and hidden buildings with temporary programs. Peckham is a place where there is a lot of space for experimentation and temporary completion. But until when? Sooner or later the municipality will probably enter it’s destination plan and it’s only the question of what will remains?
We will follow the developments and will certainly come back soon to this cool moving place.