Competition to ‘re-imagine’ Atlantic Road and Windrush Square

Atlantic Road in January this year

The London Festival of Architecture (LFA), Lambeth council and the Brixton Business Improvement District (BID) have launched a design competition inviting architects, designers and artists to submit a proposal for “interventions” at Atlantic Road and Windrush Square.

The competition, “People at the Centre of Brixton”, asks applicants to “re-imagine” the two sites and test “alternative scenarios” that wouldimprove the experience of businesses, residents and visitors.

Brixton is one pf the chosen destinations for this year’s LFA in June.

In June 2020, the BID created a stir with its suggestion for a “Brixton Playground” on a pedestrianised Atlantic Road. This idea was discussed further at a meeting organised by Make It in Brixton is the public face of the local creative enterprise zone which is backed by Lambeth council and the Mayor of London.

Entrants for the new competition are also asked to propose solutions for how the two areas could be “used and inhabited” in the future, “becoming open, safe and accessible to all”.

The LFA said that, though temporary, the commission is “driven by an eagerness to re-imagine spaces in Brixton with an improved pedestrian experience and should test solutions which have potential to influence the future”.

It said the interventions will be activated by “a series of community-led events for LFA 2023”.

Windrush Square at night

Community concern about the state of Windrush Square and central Brixton as a whole has been expressed by the resurgent community grouping Friends of Windrush Square (FoWS).

This year, as well as being the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury, is also the 25th anniversary of the naming of Windrush Square in Brixton.

LFA representatives and local architects have been invited to a meeting of FoWS next week.

Tabloid paper front page
The Brixton Bugle in May 2022

LFA said design proposals for its competition should respond to this year’s festival theme: “In Common”.

The theme is intended to spark discussion and debate about the role that historical common land plays in the urban environment and to generate creative ideas for an equitable, equal and sustainable future.

Submissions will be shortlisted by a judging panel and shortlisted applicants will be supported in developing their design.

A winning team will be confirmed in April and awarded £27,000 + VAT to develop a fully costed, feasible design that can be delivered in June.

Rosa Rogina, director of the London Festival of Architecture, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Brixton for LFA 2023.

“Brixton is an area that holds an extraordinary creative community and historical value.

“This competition is particularly exciting as both Atlantic Road and Windrush Square offer huge potential as locations that can be reimagined to benefit diverse communities – whether they are residents or visiting.”

Donatus Anyanwu, Lambeth council cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “Taking part in this project will give our local residents, as well as visitors to our borough, a great opportunity to appreciate and learn more about the area’s fascinating architecture and soak up our local culture.

“It is an opportunity for people to have their say about the future of the area and its public spaces, testing change in a creative way.

“Coupled with this years’ hugely significant Windrush 75 anniversary, which also takes place in June, this project will guarantee a fun, thought-provoking and culturally packed June for Brixton.”

Gianluca Rizzo, managing director of Brixton BID, said: “Brixton is like nowhere else. With something to do day and night, we are proud of our markets, streets and venues.

“This design competition is an opportunity for creatives to enhance people’s experience of Brixton by reimagining two cultural significant places like Atlantic Road and Windrush Square.”

For the first stage of this competition, interested applicants should to submit proposals by 12pm on 2 March.

See details of the competition

Background to Windrush Square


  1. Hold a referendum and not a consultation. The majority do not want this. The traffic will have to go somewhere. Pollute someone else’s streets why not a quiet residential side street. Not everyone can walk or cycle. If you have a disability, are vulnerable or elderly, you will then be trapped in their homes.

  2. Constantly throwing money at fancy gentrification projects when they have one of the worst complaints records in the U.K. re tenant repairs & they continually refuse to repair Cressingham Gdns (despite a court order) so they can force our residents, knock it down and then profiteer from yet more privatised flats. Lambeth Councils greed and contempt of its citizens is staggering.

  3. How many goes are ‘they’ going to have at Windrush square? It keeps getting tinkered with and the patch of grass gets smaller and more yellow with each attempt

  4. Perhaps they could encourage Arch Co to let the empty railway arches in Atlantic Road / Station Road ? We traded their for 28 years but our face obviously didn’t fit in the Nu Brixton image that Lambeth Council wanted so they helped Network Rail to culturally ‘cleanse ‘ us and other traders

  5. Why don’t they put the money to better use by cleaning up the Town Centre and removing the collosal amount of Graffiti and paint the railway station and deal with all the beggars .Makes far more sense

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