Fire Station Development
Peckham Road Fire Station, 1905. London Metropolitan Archives, City of London
Former Peckham Road Fire Station during Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today Courtesy: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and SLG. Photo Andy Stagg
Fire Station new entrance
View of proposed new entrance by 6a architects
The South London Gallery has been gifted the Grade II listed former Peckham Road Fire Station, across the road from the SLG’s main site by an anonymous benefactor.
Dating from 1867 and the earliest surviving example of a purpose-built fire station in London, the derelict, four-storey building will be transformed into a new cultural centre opening to the public in 2018. The new building will enable the SLG to expand its internationally acclaimed contemporary exhibitions and events programme, and its award-winning education work with local residents. It will also make the SLG’s archives publicly accessible for the first time, supplemented by an extended archive documenting the social, economic and cultural history of the local area. This new development will enable the SLG to respond to increasing demand for its programmes, simultaneously ensuring that the Fire Station will be preserved for future generations to enjoy and provide much-needed free public space at a time of rapid change in the local area.
The project has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £1,650,000 thanks to National Lottery players. The grant will help to restore the building and develop a programme of activities involving people from across the local community, setting up traineeships and a volunteering scheme which will focus on expanding the SLG’s archive.
In January 2016 the £4m project also received a substantial grant of £600,000 from the Mayor’s London Regeneration Fund to go directly towards renovating the building, securing the space for public benefit at a time of rapid change in the local area. In February 2016 over £500,000 raised from the auction of major works generously donated by the artists Tracey Emin and Sir Antony Gormley, in support of the project. The generous support from a number of trusts, foundations, individuals and commercial galleries has helped the SLG to raise a total of £3.3m.
The gallery is now embarking on the final stage of its fundraising campaign to secure the final £700,000 to cover restoration costs and establish a fund for the future running of the building. Find out more about how to support the Fire Station here.
Conservation and heritage experts worked along alongside 6a architects, who worked on SLG’s award-winning 2010 building extension, to develop plans for the renovation of the former Fire Station and ensure the building’s fascinating history is preserved for future generations. The redesign creates a series of light and inspiring spaces over four floors, maintaining the original layout of rooms as far as possible. 6a architects are known for their work with arts organisations and artists, with projects including the award-winning gallery Raven Row, Sadie Coles in Davies Street, Juergen Teller’s studio and, currently in progress, the major expansion of Milton Keynes Gallery.
History of the former Peckham Road Fire Station
The former Peckham Road Fire Station, dating from 1867, was awarded Grade II-status in 1991 with English Heritage recognising its importance as the earliest surviving purpose-built fire station in London, if not nationally. It operated for almost fifty years until 1925 when a new fire station was built on the site next door and Kennedy's Sausages subsequently purchased the building for use as a factory and office. The building is now in a state of disrepair having been vacant for many years.
Designed in the Gothic style with a degree of civic character, the functions of the newly founded Metropolitan Fire Brigade are readable in the architecture, particularly the appliance bays on the frontage and the inclusion of accommodation on the upper storeys. There are several rooms on each of its four floors, most of which are domestic in scale, having originally been used as accommodation for twelve firemen and their families, plus two larger spaces at ground level, one of which was where the fire engines used to be stationed.
In 2014 the building was placed on the English Heritage At Risk Register. The Fire Station is only 100 metres from the SLG, which is also Victorian, so the two buildings have been near neighbours for more than 120 years.
With thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Mayor’s London Regeneration Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, City Bridge Trust, Viridor Credits, Foyle Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, Charles Hayward Foundation, The Pilgrim Trust, Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin, Matthew Slotover and Emily King, Christie’s, Sadie Coles HQ, kurimanzutto, Heritage of London Trust, The Architectural Heritage Fund, and all other supporters.
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To find out how you could support and become involved in the former Peckham Road Fire Station please visit www.southlondongallery.org/supportus or contact email@example.com