In response to gentrification, certain residents of Berlin simply set fire to hundreds of luxury cars and watched rents plummet. While such action might seem extreme, recent announcements on the entirely miserable future of cultural spaces in Peckham, South London, certainly makes you wonder how far things would have to go before we might see a little Zündung in the English capital.
Last week it was reported that Southwark council had rejected plans to turn a multi-story car-park, currently home to exhibition space Bold Tendencies and Frank’s Rooftop Bar, into 800 affordable artists’ studios. Instead the council opted for a collaboration between a developer called The Collective which says it is based in a “grand Georgian building” in “prestigious” Fitzrovia, and Carl Turner Architects. Together they are the gang behind the much criticised” Pop: Brixton” hell-scape. Including “multi-use event spaces, pop-up retail and cafe/bars”, the scheme is likely to target ambitious young professionals and will offer “over 50” artists’ studios. If the Brixton model is followed, the pop-up will prop-up property prices for a few years, before the council cashes in by selling the car-park to another developer.
The day after the Bold Tendancies announcement, it was discovered that beloved nightclub the Bussey Building is under threat thanks to a development of luxury flats. Understandably, South Londoners are furious. The level of anger around the Bussey has already forced the developer to pause the application while they figure out their next moves—but it would be naive to think that the club has been saved just yet.
Situated just a few hundred meters from each other along Rye Lane, this tale of two buildings reflects our contemporary Tale Of Two Cities in a mirror which—potential misfortunes aside—we should probably break at the first opportunity. […]