New community campus pops up in Brixton

Thursday 21 May 2015

Up-cycled containers and an uncommon garden create vibrancy in the city

Pop Brixton, a new community campus for startups, small businesses, local entrepreneurs and community organisations is soon to open in south London. This innovative incubator project is designed by Carl Turner Architects, and is being delivered in partnership with Lambeth Council and developer, The Collective.

Created from low-cost, low-energy, shipping containers, the design has a focus on sustainability and efficiency. The converted units will create a mini-city, providing much needed flexible studio, retail, office and workshop space in one of London’s most vibrant communities. There will be 65 units – some 20ft long, others 40ft long – which will rent out for between £400 and £2,500 a month. Some organisations will be offered rent-free space.

Also on site, London-based landscape and garden practice, uncommon, is working with Pop Brixton to create Pop Farm – the greening strategy and community gardening element of the project. This will comprise a greenhouse, orchard and herb garden, and a grand poly-tunnel, raised above the containers, providing seating for diners. Interior planting will feature exotic species.

Carl Turner Architects’ designs won a competition staged by Lambeth Council in collaboration with Brixton Market Traders’ Federation to revitalise a space where a temporary ice rink had stood empty for two years.

In February this year, street artists were invited to sketch their ideas, drawing inspiration from Pop Brixton’s core values: community, sustainability, creativity and vibrancy. The 21 finalists realised their sketches on the containers, bringing their work to life on the outside of the ground floor containers.

The Collective – which describes itself as ‘an innovative property development and management company, which seeks to redefine the way people live, work and play’ – raised some £1.5 million to fund the scheme. According to a report in London’s Evening Standard, Carl Turner ‘sold his award-winning house to provide funding.

Pop Brixton will open in late May 2015.

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