ack in 2014, an anonymous benefactor donated the former Peckham Road Fire Station to the South London Gallery. The Grade-II listed station, built in 1867, is the earliest surviving example of a purpose-built fire station in London and handily, sits across the road from the main gallery.
After years of community consultation, planning and fundraising, the space will be launching this month (22nd Sep) as part of an extension that will effectively double the size of the brilliant artistic hub.
With four floors and ample natural light, expect ambitious and experimental works – by both internally acclaimed and lesser known local artists – for which they are renowned. With the help of 6a architects, they will also be installing artist’s studios, a communal kitchen and education spaces.A
s fans of the gallery will know, they place great emphasis on innovating arts programmes in the local area. The space is a hub of creative activity: spanning film, art and performance, they’ve helped to light the artistic spark of thousands of local kids, young people and adults through their educational programmes. With the new building, they hope to attract new audiences, enabling the already impressive reputation of Peckham and Camberwell’s creative community to continue to flourish.
“As we enter the final stages of our fundraising campaign, we are delighted to be able to confirm that the Fire Station will be opening to the public this September,” says Margot Heller, director of the gallery. “A weekend of celebratory events will highlight some of the many exciting possibilities afforded by a host of distinctive new spaces that will transform the experience of visiting the South London Gallery.”
The new annexe will open with KNOCK KNOCK, an exhibition exploring humour in contemporary art curated by Margot alongside artist Ryan Gander.
Main image: View of proposed fire station exterior, by 6a Architects