The leading international architect Sir David Adjaye OBE has revealed his designs for a new building on the current Pope’s Road site of Sports Direct, which has been bought by Hondo Enterprises, that runs Brixton Village and market Row.
The scheme could include yet another new hotel for Brixton, alongside ones already planned for Brixton Road and Dorrell Place next to Marks and Spencer.
Sir David told the Architects’ Journal that the project was an “incredible opportunity to give back to the community” in South London. The new scheme will include markets and community space on the ground floor and offices above.
According to exhibition boards at brief public consultations that local media were not informed of or invited to, the Pope’s Road purchase offers a “unique opportunity” to extend Brixton Market and make it more publicly accessible.
Adjaye said: “This project fits into a narrative that is incredibly important to me, making civic and social spaces that are about bringing in diverse constituents both locally and from the city and its visitors”. He said it would be “socially constructed architecture that can edify the community”. Taking on this project, he “could see the incredible opportunity it had to elevate the experience and give back to the community”.
According to the consultation, Hondo and Adjaye Associates are also “considering the possibility” of incorporating a hotel to the east of the Pope’s Road development. This would “look to accommodate the increased demand of visitors in Brixton as we aim to promote Brixton including its historic and vibrant market to the world.”
A Hondo spokesperson told the Architects’ Journal: “This offers a unique opportunity to extend the footprint of the market by opening it up on to Brixton Station Road, to create a more publicly accessible space for the benefit of existing traders and visitors.
“As Brixton becomes a growing business hub this will allow for additional commercial employment space above the new market.”
The new scheme would be near Lambeth council’s Grade II-listed Brixton Rec. Built in 1970, it is itself scheduled for major changes. Sir David Adjaye is recognised as a leading architect of his generation. He was born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents. Adjaye Associates has offices in London, New York and Accra.
His largest project to date, the $540 million Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened in Washington DC in 2016 and was named Cultural Event of the Year by the New York Times.