Southwark Town Hall has played an important role in Camberwell and the wider South London area for several years. Jestico + Whiles’ scheme preserves the character of the building and is aimed at regenerating the site as a creative arts hub and community theatre, serving as a mixed-use arts based building with accommodation for Goldsmiths College students and the new Theatre Peckham.

Jestico + Whiles designs community theatre and creative student arts hub in former Southwark Town Hall
© Matt Clayton

The student accommodation has 166 rooms, private student gardens and generous common spaces and lounges. It has been designed to support a high level of community usage – including twelve self-contained artists’ studios, an independently managed gallery space and a café, as well as a contemporary sky lounge which provides social space for students and gallery space for artist exhibitions.

Jestico + Whiles designs community theatre and creative student arts hub in former Southwark Town Hall
© Matt Clayton

The proposals included the demolition and re-provision of Theatre Peckham, a community theatre which has operated for more than two decades and whose alumni includes the actor and new star of the Star Wars franchise, John Boyega.

Jestico + Whiles designs community theatre and creative student arts hub in former Southwark Town Hall
© Matt Clayton

The original Theatre Peckham was situated within the community hall adjoining the former Southwark Town Hall building. The scheme features a new studio theatre complex comprising a 200-seat auditorium, rehearsal space and dance studios which can be accessed from the new public piazza.

Jestico + Whiles designs community theatre and creative student arts hub in former Southwark Town Hall
© Matt Clayton

The new facilities allow Theatre Peckham to bring all of its work together under one roof for the first time, and provides space for an array of new classes, performances and events within the local community, in addition to its existing programme of workshops offering affordable performing arts classes to three to 18-year-olds.

Jestico + Whiles designs community theatre and creative student arts hub in former Southwark Town Hall
© Matt Clayton

Jude Harris at Jestico + Whiles said:

We are very pleased to have completed the regeneration of the former Southwark Town Hall which is not only accessible to the local community but also encourages young creative artists to get involved. Our scheme creates a space that will inspire the local community to engage with cultural events and support the growth of the area as a creative hub.

David Campbell, MD of Alumno added:

The former Southwark town represents a significant milestone in Alumno’s continued growth and it embodies everything that we seek to achieve in a successful project; inspirational design with a specific focus on place making. The Jestico + Whiles team have demonstrated the skill and flair required to deliver a complex and ambitious project such as the former Town Hall Building. We are delighted that this fabulous building has gained some well-deserved recognition.

Project Details:

Location: 33 Peckham Rd, Camberwell, London, UK
Design: Jestico + Whiles
Photographs: Matt Clayton

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