What if: tasks’ engagement with making planning processes accessible to the broader neighbourhood of Outdated Kent Highway began with establishing group curiosity group Peckham Weeklies in 2014 adopted by a sequence of occasions and publications organised with Motion Outdated Kent Highway, together with the Outdated Kent Highway City Highway marketing campaign in 2019.

Tailor-made to the social and bodily context of the realm, LEX 2 is one other instance of this follow. The venue’s first part was accomplished in July 2023, when its consumer, Livesey Trade (LEX), a brand new black-led organisation which established itself by the method, moved into it.

The locally-led initiative and programme, which supplies inexpensive workspace with a beneficiant communal area for socialising, studying and cultural actions, was funded by the GLA and the London Borough of Southwark.

The scheme was initiated in 2015 by native resident Nicholas Okwulu of social enterprise Pempeople and developed by Ulrike Steven, a resident of Outdated Kent Highway and co-founder of what if: tasks.

Kickstarted by the Mayor’s Crowdfunding Marketing campaign in 2016, LEX has developed throughout two beforehand unused websites owned by Southwark alongside the Outdated Kent Highway, together with the continuing however momentary use of Ledbury Property garages (LEX 1) for workshops, exhibitions and occasions, informing the programme for the brand new buildings of LEX 2 on a smaller website.

To swimsuit a phased supply and obtainable funding, LEX was conceived as two separate buildings linked by a tall entrance construction with stairs and raise. The finished first part included the elimination of waste from the positioning, foundations and underground providers for the brand new buildings and the primary of the 2 buildings: a field wrapped in gray corrugated metallic cladding with giant glazing components.

Internally, the partitions are completed as uncovered CLT, with the areas on each flooring boasting excessive floor-to-ceiling heights to accommodate quite a lot of totally different programmes, together with gentle industrial use.

The bottom-floor double-height multi-use area has a high-level window, whereas the first-floor glazed hall has views of the longer term Outdated Kent Highway improvement websites, the place greater than 20,000 properties are deliberate.

Designed for disassembly, the scheme is constructed from 70 per cent CLT in order that the constructing could be reconstructed on one other website on the finish of its present 10-15 yr lease of the positioning. The contractor created a hyper-granular BIM mannequin to make sure that there was hardly any development waste and exact detailing of all fixings and providers to allow dismantling of structural components, cladding and home windows. Forged-concrete flooring with underfloor heating on each flooring are powered by an air supply warmth pump, whereas the scheme has a blue roof to scale back rainwater run-off from the positioning.

For the supply of the constructing, LEX assembled a various staff of small firms, together with BAME-led contractor Work and LGBTQ+ follow what if: tasks.

Funding for the second part of the development from Southwark was introduced in July and is scheduled for 2024, together with exterior landscaping.

Architect’s view

Livesey Trade is a priceless case examine and demonstration venture on how extra really community-led capital tasks could possibly be enabled. It’s a actual achievement that after seven years, we lastly accomplished the primary part of LEX. The opening in July was a particular second on this lengthy and, at instances, difficult journey. It introduced collectively lots of the individuals who had been there from the beginning and have continued supporting the venture. With out the totally different companions’ long-term dedication and willingness to collaborate and construct belief, the Livesey Trade wouldn’t have occurred. Massive main occasions impacting LEX’s progress, together with Grenfell, Brexit, Covid and rising inflation, might have completely derailed and stopped the venture. As a substitute, and thru a multi-faceted collaboration, a brand new consumer organisation was enabled to steer a publicly funded venture and thus straight affect the shaping of its neighbourhood.

Whereas the brand new constructing for LEX is a major output of our involvement, I draw consideration to the simply ignored however essential work that has taken time and has enabled the venture. A lot of our design work over the previous seven years has targeted on designing the method and speaking with the consumer group, future customers, stakeholders, funders and the broader public. Public occasions that created new spatial experiences and concerned hands-on workshops and enormous fashions of the proposed buildings and the excessive avenue context had been crucial to the engagement and breaking down limitations to planning processes.

Occasions involving over 800 folks into the design dialogue had been organised with Pempeople, group curiosity group Motion OKR/Peckham Weeklies, enterprise affiliation Very important OKR, college students from London Met, UCL, CSM and lots of native makers and artists. The physique of proof and information constructed over a few years by this course of created a mandate for the venture, supported funding functions and knowledgeable the design of the brand new buildings.
Ulrike Steven, director and co-founder, what if: tasks


Consumer’s view

Livesey Trade was born from eager to harness the immense expertise and creativity within the borough of Southwark and the realm round Outdated Kent Highway. From its inception in 2015 to the completion of part one in 2023, it has engaged residents like no different venture within the borough. However the very best is but to come back. Since opening the primary constructing this summer season, extra residents are queuing up to make use of the area than we are able to accommodate. Everyone loves it. Folks just like the aesthetic of the constructing. It’s a hub that folks really feel they’ll use. A black-led and new organisation being the consumer of a venture like that is uncommon and an actual achievement that raises aspirations for a lot of native folks and group teams.
Nicholas Okwulu, director, Livesey Trade

Funder’s view

The design staff is made up of native practitioners whose dedication to working with the group has been evidenced all through the method. Primarily based on sound first rules of environmentally acutely aware design and greatest follow, the ensuing scheme demonstrates a vastly satisfying achievement that’s intelligent, trendy and good worth for cash. Its location on the Outdated Kent Highway, alongside the intensive and high-rise pipeline improvement tasks, will present a welcome counter-point in scale and character. Funded by a mixture of public funding, non-public funding and crowdfunding sourced from the area people, this venture exemplifies what a group venture could be and is one with which the Council is proud to be related to.
Matt Derry, London Borough of Southwark

I’m delighted to see the primary part of this important group hub take form on the Outdated Kent Highway. A greater, fairer London for all is realised when communities have areas to come back collectively to work, be taught and calm down; the Livesey Trade encapsulates this very best, making certain robust native roots are maintained in a quickly creating space of our metropolis. I’m pleased with the assist the Mayor has been in a position to give this venture by his Good Progress Fund, and I look ahead to additional developments as new buildings come into use.
Jules Pipe, deputy mayor of London for planning, regeneration and abilities, GLA


Resident’s view

I’ve lived on Outdated Kent Highway for 40 years. Outdated Kent Highway is present process large change as a result of its designated Alternative Space Standing and the ensuing regeneration of the realm. While this may increasingly profit current residents and companies, there may be additionally the chance of displacement with native folks pushed out, unable to afford to stay right here or pursue their hopes and goals, as has turn out to be more and more widespread all through London.

The Outdated Kent Highway space is vastly racially and culturally numerous, with few locations supporting native entrepreneurs to develop their skills, enhance their networks and take a look at out concepts. Area like LEX is essential for these important alternatives to proceed and flourish. The area and encouragement offered by LEX are pivotal in serving to folks, particularly younger folks, develop their inventive concepts, achieve wider recognition and additional their careers. The vary of native expertise, from podcasts, filmmaking, design and bicycle repairs developed by the assist of LEX is inspiring each for these making an attempt issues out and, importantly, for these interested by future potentialities.

The group wants native areas which are welcoming, accessible and inexpensive. Areas that may assist carry folks from all sections of society collectively. That is how steady, robust neighbourhoods develop and develop.
Janine Rowe


Challenge information

Begin on website December 2021
Completion March 2023 (part 1)
Gross inside flooring space 286m2
Gross (inside + exterior) flooring space 726m2 (the positioning)
Type of contract Design and construct
Development price £1,194,000
Architect what if: tasks (RIBA phases 0-5)
Consumer Livesey Trade
Structural engineer Techniker (RIBA phases 0-4)
M&E advisor Max Fordham
QS Stockdale
Employer’s agent what if: tasks (RIBA phases 5-7)
Archaeologist Compass Archaeology
Ecologist SImlaw Ecology
Web site investigation advisor Soils
Fireplace engineer Socotec
Acoustic advisor Max Fordham
Challenge supervisor Wendy Cummins
Principal designer what if: tasks
Authorised constructing inspector Harwood
Most important contractor Two Work
CAD software program used hyper granular BIM

Environmental efficiency information

Share of flooring space with daylight issue >2% Roughly 95%
Share of flooring space with daylight issue >5% Roughly 95%
On-site power era 0%
Annual mains water consumption 0.33 l/occupant/day
Airtightness at 50Pa 1.66 m3/h.m2
Heating and sizzling water load Roughly 10.3 kWh/m2/yr
Total area-weighted U-value 0.26 W/m2Ok
Design life Minimal 50 years for cladding, 100 years+ for CLT
Embodied/whole-life carbon TBC
Annual CO2 emissions 14.3 kgCO2eq/m2
Power ranking A
Rainwater run-off 1.38 l/s

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