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Improvements to Forest Hill Library & Louise House frontage


Louise House is a Grade II listed Victorian building owned by Lewisham Council and leased to V22 for a 125 years. V22 have turned this building into 15 self-contained artists’ studios over two floors, front and back gardens, and a separate community and exhibition space at the rear of the building. All studios have high ceilings, windows and natural light.

At the rear of Louise House is the old laundry building which contains a newly refurbished large gallery space and Community Studio. V22 are renovating the basement of the laundry as another events space. Alongside the building is a large community garden. The vision is for an art and community centre which can become part of Forest Hill long into the future.

SEE3 worked with V22 to secure funding from the Mayor of London to renovate the frontage of both the library and Louise House. V22 received funding from Arts Council England, as well as the support of HTA Design, the front garden and community garden to the rear of the building have been re-landscaped, the paths have been resurfaced and there is now a walkway between the buildings.

The Forest Hill Library community bid was put together by V22, the Forest Hill Society – the main residents’ association in SE23; and The Forest Hill Traders’ Association – a local business forum. These three partners are working together to set up a fourth group: The Friends of Forest Hill Library. These four organizations will form a management board to run the building and work with Lewisham to provide a community library.