In November last year Lambeth Council invited five Black-led architectural teams to submit design ideas for improving the LLCC. The ideas were assessed by representatives from the council, alongside the Brixton Immortals Domino Club and the Brixton Soup Kitchen.
Gbolade Design Studios submitted collaborative team proposal working with Green Tea Architects and Urban Symbiotics, that will explore how to improve the community centre in ways which enhance its use and preserve its cultural and social history.
The community centre was founded in the aftermath of the Brixton 1981 uprising when the Grade II listed building on Coldharbour Lane was gifted to the local community, following the recommendations of the Lord Scarman report.
Gbolade Design Studio’s bid proposals included refurbishment and extension of the building, creation of a community garden and creation of temporary pavilion in the grounds.
Cllr Donatus Anyanwu, Cabinet Member for Voluntary Sector & Leisure, said: “The council is pleased to announce the appointment of architects Gbolade Design Studio to lead a Design & Feasibility Study to support investment in the Grade II listed building used by the Brixton Immortals Domino Club and Brixton Soup Kitchen on Coldharbour Lane in Brixton.
“As we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Brixton uprising we look forward to delivering the Council’s ambitious vision to support, celebrate and build upon the legacy of this iconic black-led community centre.”
Lambeth Council has been working with social enterprise The Ubele Initiative to support community outreach projects and identified a need to make LLCC more sustainable. The winning team said they would consult with local people to ensure their final plans are in keeping with the building’s rich history.
Tara Gbolade, Director at Gbolade Design Studio, said: “We are incredibly excited to work with the vibrant local community, Brixton Domino Club, Brixton Soup Kitchen, The Ubele Initiative and Lambeth Council, whose input is essential to delivering the scheme successfully.
“Our multi-skilled team brings expertise in community engagement, education and community buildings and sustainable design to breathe new life into the Lloyd Leon Community Centre.”
Yvonne Field, Founder and CEO of The Ubele Initiative, said: “The Ubele Initiative is delighted that we now have a talented team of Black and Minoritised professionals in place to develop the Feasibility Study.
“They were chosen in consultation with centre user groups and are viewed by all of us to be the best possible team to help bring to life our emerging vision for such an iconic community space in Brixton. We look forward to working closely with them to ensure that the voices of the local community remain integral to the plans.”
The Lloyd Leon Community Centre was founded as the Brixton Sports & Social Club following the Brixton 1981 uprising when the now Grade II listed building was gifted to the local community in response to the recommendations of the Lord Scarman report.
The building is now home to the Brixton Immortals Domino Club and the Brixton Soup Kitchen. In recognition of the cultural, historic and existing contribution of the Lloyd Leon Community Centre in Coldharbour Lane to Brixton’s Black and Afro-Caribbean community, Lambeth Council has been working with social enterprise The Ubele Initiative to support its organisational capacity and community outreach. This important work has highlighted a need and opportunity to invest in the building in order to create a long term, sustainable model for the community centre and the activities and services it can support.
The Ubele Initiative derives its name from the Swahili word meaning ‘The Future’. It is an African Diaspora led intergenerational social enterprise founded in 2014, with the purpose of helping to build more sustainable communities across the UK.
They support a wide range of communities, community-based organisations and groups with their community assets (people and physical spaces), through social action, community enterprise development and next-generation leadership initiatives.