Arts & Civic

Black Cultural Archives

Brixton, Lambeth, London

Designed by architects Pringle Richards Sharratt, this new cultural landmark is the first purpose built home for Black Cultural Archives (BCA), the leading independent archive collection dedicated to history and culture of people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain. The building provides facilities for BCA’s core activities of education, research and community engagement.

The practice worked with BCA to transform a derelict Grade II listed building into a state-of-the-art heritage centre ready to meet the ambitions of the organisation providing a local, national and international presence. The opening of the building marks BCA’s return to Brixton, the archive originally founded on Coldharbour Lane in 1981. 

The project comprised the restoration and refurbishment of Raleigh Hall, a Grade II listed building, declared ‘at risk’ by English Heritage in 1992. One of the central themes of the architectural design evolved from establishing and interacting with the central six central bays of the listed building, which is the oldest and most significant heritage element on the site. The original building now contains a learning zone, a café and shop as well as office and administration spaces.