Last Friday, the Guardian reported that the architect David Adjaye has delivered a refurbishment plan for the Africa Centre, aimed at bringing the building back into use. His design comes after a controversial decision from the centre’s Trustees earlier in the year, in which they outlined their intention to sell the leasehold to the current building at 38 King Street in Covent Garden, and relocate to more affordable premises.
Following its heyday as an artistic and social hub in the 1960s and 1970s, when it played host to the likes of Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and countless other cultural and political luminaries, the Africa Centre has fallen into a state of disrepair. It’s not only the sorry state of the building that has caused widespread concern; for many people, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Trustees’ decision to sell without adequate public consultation reflects a wider lack of transparency in the governance of the Centre.
A campaign has been set up reinvigorate the Africa Centre in its current premises, including a petition and an opportunity to donate – details here.