Peabody in the news

Thamesmead residents are being invited to have their say on five designs for a new library and civic centre which will lie at the heart of a new village being created in Thamesmead.

We've been working with the London Borough of Bexley and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to create an international design competition for a new library building in Southmere. Following an open call in June 2017, which attracted 58 expressions of interest, five design practices were shortlisted by an expert judging panel.

An artist's impression of what Southmere Village could look like

The consultation

The Southmere Village Library design consultation will run from Monday 2 to Wednesday 11 October 2017. The initial designs can be viewed and feedback given online via the Thamesmead Now website or in person at:

Parkview Information Hub, 215 Yarnton Way

Time Date
10am-4pm Monday 2, Friday 6 and Monday 9 October
9am-12 noon Saturday 7 October
10am-7pm Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 11 October

The new state-of-the-art building will be part of the first phase of Southmere Village which will offer 525 new homes, a new library and civic centre and 40,000 sq ft of commercial space for cafes, retailers and local enterprises. It is part of the Abbey Wood and South Thamesmead Housing Zone.

The standalone purpose-built library demonstrates Peabody and London Borough of Bexley’s commitment to investing in the local area and providing high quality facilities to serve new and existing communities.

Comments received through this consultation period will be shared with the judging panel so they can read the feedback before discussing and announcing the winner.

Later this month, a judging panel featuring the following experts will meet to discuss the five designs and select a winner:

  • John Lewis (Executive Director for Thamesmead, Peabody)
  • Judith Mitlin (Head of Libraries, LB Bexley)
  • Andrew Matthews (Partner, Proctor & Matthews Architects)
  • John Whiles (Partner, Jestico + Whiles Architects)
  • Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE (Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust)

Next steps

Once a winning design has been selected, Peabody will be entering into a contract with the selected design practice to work as part of the Southmere Village design team, to develop a detailed design for the library building and submit it to London Borough of Bexley for planning permission.

The chosen architect will work closely in consultation over the coming months with the community to evolve the detail design of the building, which may be very different, making sure residents achieve a new library and community facility that truly represents their Thamesmead.

Peabody's Executive Director for Peabody, John Lewis said:
"We want as many residents as possible to give feedback on the five very different designs for the new Southmere Village Library which will provide a much-needed resource to new and existing communities.

"The creation of a new library and civic centre highlights the level of investment and commitment both Peabody and the London Borough of Bexley are making to Thamesmead."

Leader of the London Borough of Bexley, Cllr Teresa O'Neill OBE said:
"This new library is an important part of the new Southmere village and the extensive regeneration work happening across Thamesmead. I would urge local people to go along and see the proposed designs so they can play a part in shaping the new building."

John Whiles, RIBA's competition architect advisor and Founding Director of Jestico + Whiles, said:

"The quality of the international response to this competition was exceptional, making the selection of the five architect practices to produce a design for the Library and community building very difficult indeed.

“The five practices chosen are very different and the Judges are expecting a challenging and inspiring range of proposals that should be of great interest to all the Residents who will benefit from the facility in the future. We look forward to receiving each and every comment, that will be considered and discussed in detail before any decision is made."