Stockwell Hall of Fame
Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Information about this scheme
The Stockwell Hall of Fame began life as the brutalist, sunken play area for the local Stockwell Park Estate, built in the 1950s. In time, however, the long concrete walls proved more popular with the local graffiti crowd.
Over the decades, the area has become renowned and respected in the street art world and people come from across the globe to paint. It is now a legal graffiti site and people can be found there all year round, painting layer over layer inside the pen. As the street art scene rose, its suitability for other activities dropped; slippery astro-turf, poor drainage caused flooding, poor lighting made the space feel unsafe, limited access meant that escape from the lower level could be dangerous, and the tall walls and hidden entrance point ensured that many local residents didn’t even know the space existed. The Hall of Fame was an obvious place to reinvest in the local community. It was an existing structure, with a reliable user base, but it was failing to offer local residents and children somewhere to gather and play.
The design involved knocking walls down to open the south end up to the public and provide an alternative entrance at the other end. A picture frame opening was also created on Aytoun Road, giving passers-by a glimpse into the colourful world inside. Sections of railings were filled in and a large podium was built in the centre of the space, which can act as a huge canvas for larger pieces, a dividing element so that artists and children can simultaneously use the space, a basketball net and football goal, a plinth for sculpture works and a surface on which to project films.
To encourage the use of the space for cinema and performance, the southern access point is greeted by a full width staircase, which cascades down into the lower level at a gentle gradient, creating seat-depth steps that face the podium wall. A ramp offers disabled access and lighting in each step means that they are safe to use 24 hours a day. New paving has been installed and textured brick cladding has been added around the perimeter walls, with patterns of protruding and recessed brick headers subtly discouraging any painting of the external surfaces. Inside, the flooring was where the Hall of Fame had to make its mark.
A colourful explosion of geometric patterns, made of non-slip gravel, covers the entire floor, discouraging the use of the floor as a canvas for painting, whilst creating a fun, instantly recognisable play space.
Rock Townsend Architects LLP
Primary Use Class
Class D2e - Indoor and Outdoor Sports