Pioneer Health Centre Wins Blue Plaque

12 August 2004
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The Pioneer Health Centre, a radically designed recreational health education centre, designed by Sir Owen Williams has won a prestigious blue plaque from Southwark Council.

The scheme recognises people or buildings of historical importance through the London Borough of Southwark. This year three blue plaques were awarded after a round of voting by the public, with the Pioneer Centre gaining 20% of the votes.

Home to the groundbreaking “Peckham Experiment,” the Pioneer Health Centre proved to be a bold departure in both design and usage and is the most famous modern building to be designed by Sir Owen Williams.
The design of the centre, built in 1935, was way ahead of its time. A spectacularly simple cruciform configuration, Sir Owen Williams created central columns that supported the floors allowing the number of internal walls to be kept to a minimum, creating one of the first commercial inner city open plan buildings.

The clean internal environment provided the ideal place for observation and relaxation, the foundations for the Peckham Experiment – a unique attempt to raise public health through a combination of education, community care and preventative medicine.

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