Move over, Shoreditch: South of the river is where the magic now happens. Peckham has levelled up and turned what was an underused multi-storey carpark into the new hot spot, Peckham Levels, aiming to be the cultural destination for all Londoners.
Inaugurated at the end of 2017, Peckham Levels is a buzzing, colourful space for local businesses and communities. The space was created by Make Shift and Carl Turner Architects, the team behind Pop Brixton, who convert derelict, abandoned buildings into artsy venues.
“Peckham is special and because of its long history of culture, immigration and varied amounts of wealth, it has a delicate balance of people representing all walks of life,” says Peckham Levels community manager Kwabena Amponsa.
“These people make up the wonderful community and they all need a space where they can be celebrated, socialise and feel free to be who they are with no judgment.”
Peckham Levels is located on Peckham Rye, just a minute down the road from local gem Peckhamplex, where you can experience the unusually satisfying feeling of watching a film for a fiver.
“Our space is very South East London,” adds Amponsa. “As long as you leave your ego at home, you’re sure to find something special in Peckham and specifically at Peckham Levels. It’s a down to earth kind of place that’s bound to put a smile on your face.”
With its bright walls, stepping inside Peckham Levels feels like taking a stroll through a unicorn’s vomit, but that’s totally a good thing.
Many will recognise its very Instagrammable rainbow staircase – a different colour for each level – on the way up to Frank’s Cafe, one of London’s most popular rooftop bars. Well, there is more than just a hot pink background for your next selfie now as the seven floors house studios for local artists, small businesses and art exhibitions.
You can go and make pottery in the Kiln Rooms, practice your tree pose at yoga studio LEVEL SIX, get your hair done at Cahoona’s Hair Hub, grab some street food with a view and stay for live music at Ghost Notes, all under the same roof. Let’s face it: you probably won’t do any of that and will just end up admiring the photographic exhibits and invading the kids play area, but how cool is it knowing that you have the choice?
And, unlike the myriad of pop-ups sprouting constantly around town only to disappear a few weeks later, Peckham Levels is here to stay. At least for the next six years. FOMO not, you still have plenty of time to book that yoga class.