The Lakeside Centre has been shortlisted as a finalist for The Pineapples awards 2023 for Creative Retrofit in recognition for Bow Arts’ transformation of a derelict building marked for demolition into a thriving arts centre supporting artists, emerging businesses, and families in Thamesmead.
The renovation of the Lakeside Centre has created an accessible infrastructure, providing 40 permanent, affordable creative workspaces, artist housing, a café and enterprise training kitchen designed to help young people start their own food business, and an early-years nursery supporting over 50 local families. Bow Arts support the talent in the area and create opportunities for the community to thrive. The award shines a light on the opportunities created by a long term, culture-led approach that has created sustainable initiatives including Thamesmead Travelling Cinema, an affordable darkroom, and kids’ art club.
Bow Arts’ pioneering approach will see over £60,000 annually invested back into community projects alongside training and paid work opportunities for artists in local schools; artists based at The Lakeside Centre are working with local groups on a new commission in partnership with Peabody to upgrade a local sports court for the community.
“The Lakeside Centre is a truly groundbreaking project that puts the arts, culture and community at the heart of Thamesmead, one of London’s largest and most exciting regenerations projects.
With the support of the GLA, Peabody, ACE and Bow Arts, the Lakeside Centre has been saved from demolition, to once again become the vibrant heart of a burgeoning new community in London.“Marcel Baettig, Chief Executive Officer at Bow Arts
By regenerating a 50-year-old brutalist landmark instead of starting from scratch, the retrofit reflects Bow Arts’ sustainable values to celebrate Thamesmead’s iconic architecture and dedicate resources to bring new life to them. Utilising natural ventilation systems that complement the building’s modernized insulation, the Lakeside Centre addresses the difficulties of temperature control in brutalist buildings to limit the use of power draining mechanical and electrical systems. The roof of the building has also been fitted with solar panels that now generate renewable energy supplied to the national grid, reducing the building’s carbon footprint.
The Pineapples awards are the only awards that celebrate the very best in placemaking, recognising excellence with an exciting programme and a commitment to recognising projects that make a positive social, environmental and economic impact. The creative retrofit category shortlist celebrates the renovation led by Bow Arts as part of Peabody’s ambitious vision for change in Thamesmead, supported by the Mayor’s London Regeneration Fund (LEAP) and Arts Council England.
The Lakeside Centre is a 30-year regeneration project designed to grow and adapt to the changing needs of the community, putting local people and their interests front and centre.
“The Lakeside Centre is much more than just a beautifully refurbished building, it provides much needed affordable working space to local artists and acts as a creative hub, where collaborations and exciting projects that benefit the whole of Thamesmead are born. It’s allowed us to facilitate projects like the travelling cinema, life drawing classes, nature walking tours and a kids art club that help bring the local community together.
Our cultural strategy in Thamesmead is overarching and our partnership with Bow Arts is one of many ways that we’re integrating culture into the fabric of the community so that local artists and residents have an opportunity to produce their own culture and creativity.”Adriana Marques, Head of Cultural Strategy for Thamesmead at Peabody