Old Kent Road Studios/Livesey Exchange

dates: 2015-ongoing
project title: Livesey Exchange
collaboration with: Pempeople, London Borough of Southwark, GLA
funding: GLA Mayor of London pledge, Spacehive crowdfunding, Airbnb, Southwark Tenant Fund
consultants: Max Fordham, Skelly&Couch, Structure Worskhop, Building Control Approval, counterculture
photography: Alexander Christies
website design: Kaisa Lassinaro
website: www.liveseyexchange.com

60 vacant garages on the Ledbury Estate on Old Kent Road will be transformed into the Livesey Exchange – an archade of workshops, studios, multifunctional spaces and a training kitchen linked to a sports pitch. A multi-functional space and café form the main entrance from the Old Kent Road providing desk space for flexible working, meetings, events and socialsing.

Benefits for the Old Kent Road community:

We want to transform the unused garages on the Ledbury Estate into a place that serves the neighbourhood. The Livesey Exchange will be an important community resource within Southwark’s proposed Old Kent Road Opportunity Area and will provide a hub for training, meetings, and information. It is important that local communities are involved in the development of the area as it evolves and have the training and skills to effectively participate and benefit from the coming changes.

The Livesey Exchange aims at bringing life, new skills and jobs to a currently neglected corner of South East London. The former garages will be filled with makers from a range of industries, opening up opportunities for training and further strengthening the network of manufacturers operating in the Old Kent Road area. Another resource will be the Feminist Library that plans to move to the Livesey Exchange with part of their collection and will deliver a complimentary educational programme.

The Livesey Exchange has successfully attracted funding to commence the transformation of the garages from the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund, Southwark Council, Southwark Tenant Fund, Airbnb and many residents and businesses who supported our Crowdfunding campaign in 2016.

Change of plan

The Livesey Exchange project has been developed by local residents Nicholas Okwulu, of social enterprise Pempeople in collaboration with Ulrike Steven, of architecture practice what if: projects. In collaboration with our partner organisations we are currently planning the delivery of the project.

Due to unforeseen difficulties at the Ledbury Estate following the Grenfell Fire in 2017, the Livesey Exchange construction works could’t commence in the garages and an alternative site on Old Kent Road has been provided by LB Southwark. In March 2018 the project was selected by the Mayor for the first round of Good Growth Funding. For more information refer to www.liveseyexchange.com

GLA blog, 4th August 2016
Community-led regeneration, Oct. 2016
Crowdfund London film 2017
Livesey Exchange