Calls for library to be given protected status

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

Calls are being made for a public library to be afforded the same protected status as landmarks like Battersea Power Station and Hammersmith Bridge.

Fans of Peckham Library, in Peckham Hill Street, Peckham, are calling on the Government to award Grade-II* listed status to the divisive building, which opened in 2000.

Some residents have previously branded the award-winning library “ugly” and called for it to be bulldozed in social media posts.

One person even joked the building looked like something put together by Only Fools and Horses’ dodgy dealers Del Boy and Rodney.

But architecture charity the Twentieth Century Society [C20 Society] believes Peckham Library should be recognised for its “innovative and playful architecture that makes it a distinctive, much-loved landmark.”

If the library is listed, it will become the first 21st century building in Britain to be given Grade-II listed status.

The building was designed by the late British architect Will Alsop, who supposedly mouthed “F*** the past” at TV cameras after winning the UK’s top architecture award, the Stirling Prize, for Peckham Library in 2000.

Another of Alsop’s buildings, an upside down boat cafe in Jersey built in 1997, became the youngest building in Britain to get Grade-II listed status in November.

The C20 Society launched its bid to list the building after becoming aware of a planning application to install what the group describes as “intrusive” air source heat pump equipment on the library’s roof.

It fears the apparatus will “negatively impact on the significance of the library and key views of the roof.”

Pictured top: Peckham Library (Picture: Robert Firth)

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