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£1.1 million retrofit of 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning

The £1.1 million retrofit of 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning has featured in the leading industry publication Architects Journal.

198 CAL is on Brixton’s Railton Road, part of what became known as the ‘Frontline’ during the riots of 1981. Thirty years after starting as a social space for the Black community later in the 1980s, the arts organisation won the freehold to the site, paving the way for a transformation that would make the building more flexible and self-sustaining.

Speaking of their work on the high-profile project, William Haggard, co-founder, of the CarverHaggard architecture practice said:

“It has been great to see 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning grow into their new building, the new space providing a home for all their activities and their wider network for the first time. We worked closely with 198 CAL to deliver their ambitious brief and provide as much functionality as possible within the tight budget, so it’s a building that needs to work hard and do a lot of things at the same time.”

Also sharing her thoughts on the long-awaited development of the space, was 198CAL director Lucy Davies, who said:

“The new building finally fulfils the vision of the original founders of 198CAL, who were provided three disused shops attached to the Hurst Street Estate as a social space for the Black community following the Uprisings of the 1980s. We worked with CarverHaggard on the plans and funding for the building alongside developing our vision to increase the organisation’s impact and financial sustainability. We have expanded our facilities with upgraded galleries and a new archive room, creative workspaces, and a great space for our youth and community activities. It’s been a long journey, and it was a big challenge to raise funds and manage the project, but it’s well worth it.”