Beginning sketches

Looking at using large spaces, this car park seems to be a good potential site based on my found statistics. Many people in Peckham do not own a car, this space can be utilised to benefit Peckham in a different way.

Taking the use of bridges from the precedent by Kengo Kuma, the bridges in my concept would link different buildings. It would allow direct links to different areas.

To incorporate the use of farming, there could be a floor dedicated to indoor vertical farming and a floor dedicated to outdoor farming. The indoor farms would allow for fruits and vegetables that need a hot climate to be grown all year round.

A unique concept is the first one below. The building could be make up of a unique shape rotated on a single point. These could create steps on the outside of the building leading to the top. There could be bridges to each building with platforms coming off them that can be used for outdoor farming, garden or greenery space.

Peckham Solutions

In my previous Design: Major Project blogs (Visiting Peckham and Initial look at the site), I discussed my initial view of the site, my visit to Peckham, what it was like and briefly mentioned what could be changed.

Would it be possible for the people of Peckham to express their creativity more frequently? Could there be certain areas dedicated to graffiti and painting? This could be a space where the community can come together for group projects. It could become a social activity for all ages, meeting to express themselves.

There could be more greenery in Peckham. Nature could be more dominant than man-made roads. It would encourage people to walk and could potentially reduce congestion and pollution. It could make Peckham cleaner with fresher air and greener helping locals mentally. Additionally, due to there being many schools nearby, it would be essential to include these natural areas to give children safer places to play. With larger greenery areas, there could be more play areas, sport courts and pitches that could be made available to clubs and the public.

Peckham is very commercial based, so it is a necessity for small and large businesses to remain. In highstreets, there would need to be spaces above the shops so that the owners of these shops can live close by. For example, if changed to high-rises, shops should be based on the ground floor with the owners being able to live on the first floor directly above their business.

Visiting Peckham

Visiting Peckham has been an important part of this project so far. We needed to visit the site to get an understanding of what is there and who is there. What is it that makes Peckham, Peckham?

It was very different being in Peckham than Portsmouth or Southampton. It seemed to constantly be busy; the street was filled with people, the roads filled with cars. There did not seem to be a quiet moment. My partner drove us to Peckham, so I got to see a comparison of central London and Zone 2 of London. The drivers in London seemed to be quite inpatient and unforgiving. They seemed to know exactly where they were going, and they weren’t going to let anyone get in the way of that. When in central London, you are surrounded by high rise buildings covered in glass and fancy cars. Peckham seemed to be a much more modest version of Central London.

One thing that stood out about Peckham was the artistic expression. In every direction there is graffiti on the walls, some of it was writing and some of it was simply patterns. There did not seem to be a street that was free of graffiti, almost as if the entirety of Peckham was a canvas. Personally, I don’t find anything wrong with graffiti. It shows that there needs to be somewhere in Peckham where people can express themselves and show their creativity. Peckham Levels would be a good example of this, but what if the people of Peckham could take it into their own hands and create the designs they want, wherever they want?

Within Peckham there is one area on the route that is not shown on google maps. Some of the previous structure had been demolished and, in its place, stands Peckham Palms. This building is in an interesting area as you can see old, new, broken and being rebuilt. It doesn’t fit quite fit into its surrounding making it a unique sight. It’s a very modern building in when compared to the buildings that are around it; it seems to not have embraced what is already there.

The Peckham Peace wall is a concept that I have not seen before. All over this wall by Peckham library were little notes based around peace. It was a deep insight to what the local people think of their home and the world surrounding them.

There were a variety of materials within Peckham that I saw ranging from brick, metal, and concrete. The material palette would make for interesting designs, the materials quite obviously aging over time. Perhaps this could be taken advantage of? The buildings could tell a story based on the materials they are made of.

Turner Works Peckham Levels

Peckham levels is a place that supports the ambitious. It is a community of artists, makers and entrepreneurs. This project was announced in 2015 and opened in 2017. Peckham levels is a brilliant example of how space can be reused rather than simply destroying it and building something in its place. The multi-story platform went from 7 levels that was unused to 50 studios, workshops, specialist studios, food and drink related venues, exhibition and market spaces and more. There are many areas that are available to the public; for example, “free event space, children’s play area, music venue, gallery, bars, restaurants, café, yoga studios and even a hair salon”. This renovation supports “employment and the arts” and acts as a “social space”. Previously, it was prone to anti-social activity.

Unfortunately, when I visited Peckham, all the doors were closed and locked. I am unsure whether the timings have changed due to the pandemic or if I simply did not look hard enough. However; even the exterior of the building shows artistic expression.

Initial look at the site

Before visiting the site, I decided to take a look at the resources provided for us. Just by looking at the map, I can see that it is a built-up area with predominantly man-made structures. There does not seem to be much greenery around our site. The only road that appears to have a strip of greenery is Holly Grove. This area is simply a path through grass with some shrubs and trees on one side. 

There appears to be some greenery surrounding the site in small areas. For example, Warwick gardens sits West of Holly Grove, the Surrey Canal walk is North of the site, next to the leisure centre. Warwick Gardens is a small field of grass with a play area and football posts. This area must be used frequently as it is near local schools. There are quite a few schools nearby which shows that play areas and natural areas are essential. 

Surrey Canal Walk appears to be similar to that of Warwick Gardens but longer in length and leading up to Burgess park. Burgess Park is much further from our site, being a 20-minute walk from Peckham Library. Peckham Rye Park and Common is closer still, being a 13-minute walk from Peckham Rye train station. 

Based on these observations, it may be beneficial for Peckham to have more greenery areas. These areas could include play area, sport courts and pitches that would be available for the public. 

Along the high street there are many businesses ranging in size. It would be essential to allow for commercial businesses to remain. However; smaller or independent companies should be taken into account and they should be able to continue their business in an affordable area. Ideally, with a living space above for the owners.