The Bellenden Primary School in Peckham wins 2019 Peckham Society Architecture Award

A primary school has won an architectural award for its bright colours and rooftop playground.

The Bellenden Primary School in Dewar Street, Peckham won the 2019 Peckham Society Architecture Award on the eve of London’s annual architectural festival, Open House London, at an awards ceremony at the Old Waiting Room at Peckham Rye railway station.

A judging panel chaired by the architectural writer Rory Olcayto and members of the Peckham Society has selected the school, designed by Cottrell and Vermuelen Architects, as their winner.

The Peckham Society said: “The award champions and encourages high-quality new development in Peckham, which has been the scene of outstanding new projects in recent years.”

Judge and Peckham Society committee member Bill Morris said: “Bellenden School is a kaleidoscope of activity and colour.

“Working with a circumscribed site, the architects have created a doll’s house of adventure and vision.
“The rooftop playground is particularly wonderful.

“It’s strong and bright and enlivens a forgotten corner of SE15.”

Rory Olcayto, director of Open City, the charity behind Open House, said: “Bellenden School embodies the best qualities of Peckham’s vibrant townscape with a fresh take on the South London neighbourhood’s eccentric, cheek-by-jowl urbanism.

“Open to its surroundings, the school’s playgrounds flow around – and under – the classroom blocks – one of which appears to float above the tarmac – while bright yellow gables, portholes, and super-graphics contrast pleasantly with tough-looking castle-like walls, too.

“It’s fun, friendly and functional, and loved by children and parents alike.”

A ceramic plaque by a Peckham artist will be offered to Bellenden School to commemorate the award.

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