Bold Tendencies

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HISTORY OF BOLD TENDENCIES

Established in 2007, Bold Tendencies is a not-for-profit arts organisation based in the rooftop spaces at Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park in South London. Bold Tendencies created a public space in a disused building in the city and over 16 years has transformed the site into an experimental civic space and much-loved place of assembly.

Derelict until 2007, Bold Tendencies was founded in spring of that year. Established on the top 4 floors of the car park, the not-for-profit organisation has since developed a full summer season of site-specific visual art commissions and new architecture, and produces an ambitious live events programme of music, opera, dance and literature from May to September every year. 

In 2009 Bold Tendencies commissioned Frank’s Cafe as its first architectural project, designed and built by Practice Architecture (founded by Paloma Gormley and Lettice Drake who were still students at the time). Conceived as a place to sit and refresh on site it was run by local bartender Frank Boxer and chef Michael Davies (who met working at the Anchor & Hope in Waterloo).  

Since 2009 Frank’s Cafe – with its iconic retractable red tarpaulin roof – has been an integral part of the Bold Tendencies summer season. It offers brunch, lunch and dinner, all made to order on-site and focussed on simplicity and seasonality.

 

Following the success of Bold Tendencies, in 2015 Southwark Council made the decision to repurpose the remaining levels of the car park and tendered for proposals for the space. Peckham Levels were appointed to operate Floors 1 – 6 of the car park, providing creative workspaces and a public floor for independent food and beverage vendors. 

In 2017, in consultation with Bold Tendencies and following a 5,000-strong community petition Southwark Council reached an agreement to take the car park off their core borough redevelopment plan, confirming the changed use and long-term cultural purpose of the building. Bold Tendencies was guaranteed a life-time lease for the top four floors of the former car park.  

As of 2023, Bold Tendencies continues to operate an annual summer programme of visual art and live events on Levels 7 – 10 of the car park with Frank’s Cafe providing refreshments for visitors.

More than 3 million people have visited Bold Tendencies over 16 summer seasons so far. Bold Tendencies celebrates the free enjoyment of public space in the city, welcoming participation in its rich, experimental programme and preserving open access to this special, spectacular place.

Site by ON Bold Tendencies CIC is registered in England and Wales. Company No: 07662828. Vat No: 114047945.
Registered Office: 4 Holly Grove, London SE15 5DF
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