Thursday, 3 November 2016

Brixton Recreation Centre is now Grade II listed by Historic England (BRUG) Press Release

Brixton Recreation Centre Users Group welcomes it's listing as 'a building of architectural and historic interest' Brixton Recreation Centre (the 'Rec'), a cherished local public facility, is now nationally listed by Historic England as 'a building of architectural and historic interest'.

The Rec is a landmark in Central Brixton, a hub used by more than 2000 people a day from a very diverse and changing community.

Brixton and Lambeth now have in Brixton Rec a nationally recognised recreation centre of exceptional merit, a positive heritage from a turbulent past and which opens up opportunities for an even more successful future.

The Brixton Rec User Group (BRUG) and users have long appreciated and been proud of the Rec's architectural qualities and opportunities for community activities and social interaction - the six storey naturally lit atrium, the dramatic swimming hall, the huge sports hall, all enable friendships to develop freely.

BRUG is also proud of and honours the achievements of the community clubs that use the Rec.

'The special interest of the interior (of the Rec) is the circulation atrium …'

Historic England's main reasons for listing

* Architectural interest: thoughtfully composed and proportioned, with monolithic 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.

* One of the earliest leisure centres to combine an extensive range of activity areas ...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.

* Architect: one of George Finch’s most important buildings and illustrating his socialist principles: 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. 'The special interest of the interior (of the Rec) is the circulation atrium …'

Watch a new short film by Stuart Everitt about the Rec.

Rec:Collection from Marmalade Productions on Vimeo.

Further information Brixton Recreation Centre was opened in 1985, shortly after the second Brixton uprisings.

Past uses include art workshops, Abu Shanti's famed discos, a large restaurant & bar overlooking the swimming hall and a sundeck, as well as sports facilities.

Nelson Mandela chose to visit Brixton in 1996 to a tumultuous street welcome and performances by local schools in the Rec's main sports hall.

BRUG believes the Rec is a vital community resource with the widest range of activities & facilities available for everyone within the community at affordable prices.

BRUG was formed in 2007 when the future of the Rec was under threat. Popular resistance, and a change of Council, saved it.

In 2012 BRUG again successfully campaigned to keep the Rec open.

The link to the full HE report for those who would be interested to read it is here. 

Extraordinarily successful Community Clubs centred in the Rec include Afewee football & boxing club, Brixton Wheelchair Basketballers, Brixton Topcats Basketball teams, x-Pozure Dance Academy, and South London Rollerblades. Afewee football & boxing club

The swimming pool hall is an exceptional space, lofty, sculptural and dramatic, gently top-lit...'


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