Brixton Windmill Centre, the new education and community centre next to Brixton Windmill managed by the Friends of Windmill Gardens and funded by Lambeth Council, is set to open.
Designed by Brixton-based architects Squire & Partners, the centre will serve the local community with a range of educational activities for residents, school groups, adult learners and community groups. We also hope to welcome visitors from further afield.
Jean Kerrigan, Chair of the Friends of Windmill Gardens, said: “Brixton Windmill has been at the heart of Lambeth for over 200 years. The opening of the education building is a momentous occasion for us and will allow FoWG to continue serving the local community by providing vital space for workshops, classes and our flour production.
“I would like to thank the architects Squire & Partners for their design, commitment and generous support for this project and Lambeth Council for recognising the role FoWG has played within our local community for the past 17 years and having the confidence in our volunteers’ ability to manage this wonderful new community space.”
The Friends are planning to use the centre as a showcase for the historic mill, to host open days and local festivals, and to run community baking workshops. The main space and cafe will also be available to hire for events such as birthday parties and weddings to help pay for the centre’s upkeep.
We have re-started Brixton weekly tai chi and monthly gardening sessions under socially-distanced measures, and are aiming to resume open days from September, with a possibility of a limited opening for Open House weekend on September 19 and 20. Updates will be posted here.
Cllr Sonia Winifred, Lambeth’s Cabinet member for Equalities and Culture, said: “I’m delighted that we have completed this project. Brixton Windmill is such a valuable community asset and landmark for the borough.
“This new education centre will help people learn about the windmill’s fascinating past and present, encourage more people to visit the site and create an important legacy for future generations.”
Tim Gledstone, a partner at Squire & Partners, said: “In its bicentenary year, Brixton Windmill’s cultural ambassadors Eley Kishimoto – along with the Friends and Lambeth Council – reached out to us to unlock a 10-year-stalled project to create an education and community centre.
“The new building offers a self-sustaining future for the working windmill, enabling it to be enjoyed for another 200 years. A flexible frame allows the centre to be incrementally opened up for a variety of community, education and fundraising events, whilst durable and timeless materials create an accelerated vernacular on the site of previous miller’s outbuildings.
“The centre supports the love and generosity of Friends of Windmill Gardens, and offers a symbol of hope for windmills everywhere – celebrating their sustainable role in communities.”
All images by Jack Hobhouse.