FOOTNOTE: HISTORIC ENGLAND DON’T WANT TO LIST CENTRAL HILL ESTATE …. BUT THEY HAVE LISTED THIS…..
Image: Historic England website
Brixton recreation centre was given grade two listed status last year.
Sports and recreation centre with shops, designed in 1970 by a design team led by George Finch for Lambeth Borough Council, with Ove Arup and Partners as consultant engineers. Construction began in 1974 and was completed in 1985.
Reasons for Designation
The Brixton Recreation Centre, designed in 1970 by a team led by George Finch, constructed 1974-1985, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: thoughtfully composed and proportioned, with monolithic brick masses bought to a human scale at street level, and with sculptural concrete forms; * Interiors: the atrium and pool hall are dynamic, dramatic and sculptural spaces which optimise natural light, encourage interactivity, and have good-quality materials and thoughtful detailing throughout;
* Planning interest: one of the earliest leisure centres to combine an extensive range of activity areas with leisure facilities intricately planned around a dynamic, top-lit circulation space, with long views through the building, and incorporating various ancillary facilities which root the building in the urban fabric;
* Specialist facilities: it has three separate pools dedicated to different kinds of swimmers, an unusual glazed sunbathing deck, and a climbing wall rising through the atrium; * Historic interest: the first phase and central hub of Hollamby’s ambitious replanning of Brixton, incorporating the first of his elevated pedestrian walkways;
* Architect: one of George Finch’s most important buildings and illustrating his socialist principles: his extensive research enabled him to provide well-designed individual activity areas within a very cleverly-planned whole, maximising the space to include the greatest number of facilities for the public, and encouraging interaction between users;
* Cultural importance: since opening, the recreation centre has become a social centre for the community, much-valued in the locality and the site chosen by Nelson Mandela as part of his historic state visit in 1996 in the area most synonymous with post-war black British culture; * Group value: with Platforms Piece, which stands on the railway station platforms facing into the swimming pool, and which also reflects Brixton’s cultural identity. (Source: Historic England website)