words Claire Beard
New arts venue Peckham Space by Penson Group unfolds onto Peckham Square, underneath the Peckham Arch, like a green and white Transformer. The cantilevered roof reaches out, drawing people up the steps to the glazed entrance next to Will Alsop’s Peckham Library.
This is the latest public arts venue to open along the Peckham Road in south London this year, just a few weeks after the unveiling of the expanded South London Gallery by 6a Architects (icon 087). It’s an initiative developed by nearby Camberwell College of Arts to commission location-specific projects by contemporary artists and youth groups.
The building has a timber-frame structure, which is covered in spray-painted marine ply to create a uniform, almost sculptural object. To avoid a tatty look the Peckham Space has budgeted to re-spray the structure every five years, enabling it to easily change its identity and look.
The inside is a long, rectangular space with a large asymmetric window flooding the space with light and offering views out onto Peckham High Street. It’s a flexible space that can be altered as and when it’s needed, for wall-mounted exhibitions, video installations or classes.
The next exhibition is called Futurama and opens on 17 September.