Livesey Exchange

dates: 2017-ongoing
project title: Livesey Exchange
client: Livesey Exchange Ltd
collaboration with: Pempeople, London Borough of Southwark, GLA
funding: GLA Good Growth Funding, LB Southwark, GLA Mayor of London pledge, Spacehive crowdfunding, Airbnb, Southwark Tenant Fund
in kind support: Structure Worskhop, Standage, counterculture, Berkeley Homes, Max Fordham, Alex Christie, Peckham Weeklies/Action OKR, Livesey Exchange Workshop, Airbnb
design team: what if: projects with Stockdale, Techniker, Max Fordham, Tisserin
business plan: counterculture
photography: Alexander Christie and what if:projects
awards: New London Award 2020, shortlisted, unbuilt category ‘experiencing culture’
project website:

Livesey Exchange will deliver a community hub and workspaces on a currently vacant site on Old Kent Road. As a place for skill building the project seeks to tap into existing local knowledge and provide an entry for young people from the aera into the world of making, business and creativity.

This grassroots project demonstrates how local government, the GLA, local people and private companies can come together to fund and deliver bespoke neighbourhood infrastructure. Started at the Ledbury Estate in 2016, Livesey Exchange was initiated by community enabler Nicholas Okwulu and has since been developed with local architects what if: projects. The programme evolved through collaboration with residents, businesses and stakeholders over several years of engagement events and workshops held to ascertain local aspirations.

Conceived as ‘Village Hall meets Turbine Hall’, this community space for skill sharing and cultural events will consist of a pair of two-storey blocks housing a double-height multipurpose space served by a kitchen, external yards and spaces for work. A tall, light roof structure will mark the entrance acting as a beacon amid the changing environment of Old Kent Road. Designed to a low budget and for disassembly, the timber-framed buildings employ a simple palette of materials creating a tough, adaptable envelope for an emerging programme. Simple construction methods allow for ease of maintenance, future repairs and potential adjustments while creating a robust building.

On the 22nd January 2019 Southwark Cabinet approved the Livesey Exchange project unanimously.

“Not only is this a fantastic project to bring an allocation to, but it’s a project that we can have huge faith in that it is going to make sure the people who often are left out of regeneration do really benefit and are part of it. A really important thing to have particulary on the Old Kent Road that is going to see enormous change.”

During the summer 2021 contractor Two Work was selected and the project is scheduled to start on site towards the end of the year. Watch this space.

For more information:

GLA Community Projects Handbook
GLA, Good Growth Funding announcement, 7th March 2018
Crowdfund London film 2017
London’s Towns, shaping the polycentric city, 2017

GLA blog, 4th August 2016
Community-led regeneration, Oct. 2016