Turner Works

Related Project:
Pop Brixton

Tim Crocker


1. What does ‘affordability’ really mean?

We could go on debating this for ever. But what we do know is that when people get hold of a place cheaply they tend to hang on to it. It gets passed down through the generations and becomes ‘stuck’. If you really want to shake things up, you have to step back and rethink the traditional economic model.

2. Have a look at what lies beneath Pop Brixton.

It offers a very different model, and we call it the ‘stepping-stone economy’. It encourages the movement of people, organisations and businesses as they grow in size and confidence. It keeps everyone moving up the ladder, unlocking space at the bottom of the chain. That means everyone gets a chance. Like Peckham Levels, the lifespan of Pop Brixton is a matter of just a few years, so it’s not a sound investment in the traditional sense. But there’s no doubt in any of our minds about how worthwhile this stepping-stone economic model can be. Standard developments tend to allow people at the top to keep moving up, while everyone else stays put.

3. Sometimes you have to look at things in a new way, and that’s what we did here.

We’ve seen market traders move into small food kiosks, we’ve seen restaurants move onto the high street, and we’ve seen businesses grow from just a desk to their own four walls and more. And, like at Peckham Levels, there’ll be endless ripples in all directions. We won’t always be able to claim credit, but we’ll know we played our part in showing a different path. For us, it’s been quite a journey. We poured almost everything we had into the project. But we emerged wiser, tougher and full of ideas for other possible transformations. We were ready for more.

4. So even with short-term projects, it’s a question of taking the long view. And remember that it’s not all about changes in the here and now. There’ll be a lot more to come.


This was the first project which allowed us to really work within communities and create change from the ground up. Now we knew just what we could achieve with a bit of land and the right partners. But even better it showed others what we were capable of, and word soon spread. So Pop Brixton has changed the landscape for us too. You can’t underestimate the power of a good project. When one like this comes along, jump at it.

Something to think about:


It’s not just about rethinking our buildings. It’s also about rethinking the structures that underpin our society. We know that’s a lot to take on board before starting a project, but we’re here if you need us.