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Pride of Peckham

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‘Delighted that Architects’ Journal and Philips have chosen Peckham for their Liveable Cities design contest, hoping for some creative ideas.’

That was architecture-loving Southwark councillor Fiona Colley on Twitter just moments before she introduced the day-long event, giving vital background information on the south-east London hot spot to the architects and lighting designers gathered in Peckham Library for the charrette.

The evening before, Colley attended the launch of Elephant and Castle’s £1.5 billion masterplan, and bemoaned the Evening Standard’s cliched coverage: ‘Not a fan of the headline: Makeover of “muggers’ paradise” Heygate estate’. That was still on her mind when she addressed the charrette design teams the following morning. ‘Peckham is not broken,’ she said. ‘It has a reputation that is not deserved. We are passionate about changing that perception.’

Colley went on to talk about the sites selected for the charrette. ‘For me, the sites around the station are the most interesting. Peckham Station Square, for example, is going to happen. There’s £10.5 million attached to that project – but no architect yet.’ Cue audible gasps from the assembled architects: ‘This is an opportunity to show us your ideas.’ Indeed.

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