OKR Studios and Glengall Wharf Gardens

The summer season at the Peckham multi-storey car park is well underway with it’s usual mix of visual arts and music, not to mention the ever-popular Frank’s Cafe on the roof. Joining this annual car park love-in this year will be the events in the car park of the Ledbury Estate. This is one of the more interesting regeneration projects in the Peckham area. It’s not specifically focused on art or artists but more on workshops and studios for a range of creative, cultural and business based practitioners. This is in the “wrong “part of Peckham as it’s not by Peckham rye station or the well-known Bussey building, it is by the Old Kent road, which if the proposed Bakerloo line extension ever comes to fruition will probably become a heightened area of development. Southwark council already have a master plan of sorts for that area with their proposed Old Kent Road Opportunity Area with the dissent being currently led by Vital OKR, who describe themselves as “a voice for the economy of the old kent road”. The Old Kent Road Studios (OKR) project has come about due to the efforts of social entrepreneur Nicholas Okwulu of the Pempeople project and Ulrike Steven of what if: projects and with a variety of backers including the Mayor of London, Spacehive, Southwark council, Airbnb and crowdfunding.

As mentioned, this is one of the more interesting projects in Peckham at the moment, an example of how seemingly outlandish arts based ideas can influence community projects and vice versa, I very much doubt this would have seen the light of day if it wasn’t for the success of Bold Tendencies at the multi-storey car park in Peckham town center.

The aftermath of the tragic Glenfell Tower fire tragedy in West London has rightly raised questions regarding the safety of high rise blocks. The blocks on the Ledbury estate have recently come under scrutiny with local news reporting on safety concerns and the possibility of a Ronan point type catastrophe (in which a high rise partially collapsed following a gas explosion, killing five people in 1960’s East London) in the event of a gas explosion. This is an ongoing situation, which will hopefully be resolved with the residents having safe and secure homes.

Glengall Wharf Gardens.

Following the path of the old surrey canal down from Peckham square, all the way passed willowbrook bridge and way down to Glengall Wharf, you’ll come across a site very familiar to the reams of commuter cyclists as they wiz by on their way to and from work, Glengall Wharf Gardens. The garden is a cornucopia of delight, promoting the sustainable growing and understanding of fresh and healthy food, as well as beekeeping and arts based events. Well worth a visit and if you fancy getting involved they’re always looking for volunteers.