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6a picked for new South London Gallery annexe

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6a architects has been named winner of a contest for a new £4 million addition to Peckham’s South London Gallery (SLG)

The practice – which expanded the historic gallery’s main building nearby seven years ago – defeated a shortlist of rival firms including Studio Octopi, Pringle Richards Sharratt and Matheson Whiteley to land the prestigious commission which has now started on site.

Planned to complete in 2018, the project will the Grade II-listed former Peckham Road Fire Station into a new mixed-use cultural centre featuring a local history archive.

SLG director Margot Heller said: ‘Our expansion into this distinctive building will enable us to undertake a major step change in the scope and impact of our artistic and education programmes, championing the importance of art, culture and public space that is free to all at a time of rapid change in the local area.’

Jules Pipe – London’s deputy mayor for planning, regeneration and skills – said: ‘It’s terrific to see work start on the expansion of the South London Gallery and restoration of this historic local building, which will play an important role in the wider regeneration of Peckham.

‘This development is an excellent example of multiple stakeholders, including the Mayor’s London Regeneration Fund, coming together to get a significant project off the ground.’

The scheme, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), will maintain the building’s original room layout while delivering a new series of ‘light and inspiring spaces’ over four floors.

Once complete the building will feature an exhibition space, learning area, meeting rooms, an artist’s studio and SLG’s archive of material relating to local history.

SLG was donated the formerly abandoned building – located across the road and around 100 metres from the gallery’s historic home – by an anonymous benefactor one-year-and-a-half ago.

Head of HLF London, Stuart Hobley said: ‘This project combines the restoration of a Grade II Victorian fire station, the opening up of a fascinating archive, and the opportunity for an innovative arts organisation to expand and develop their exhibition, events and educational offerings.

‘We’re delighted National Lottery players are able to support this excellent example of the close relationship between heritage and the arts.’

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