The transformation has begun on Brigstock House and the unfolding designs wouldn’t look out of place in any modern art gallery.
The dated gloomy tower block housing refugees on the corner of Melfort Road will no longer be a local eyesore and also offer a better welcome for asylum seekers and their families.
The murals were held up because of the cost of arranging scaffolding but are now well underway.
Artists and designs for the murals at the front, side and and rear of the premises were commissioned by the Rise Gallery.
However, because of the delays the original artists chosen, who created a theme focusing on wildlife and weather, have been replaced as have the designs because of the original artists commitments.
The ‘English wildlife’ theme portraying a fox, sun and daisies is now a portrait of a local boy created by Ben Slow.
Street artist Ben is well known for conceiving striking black and white street portraits all around the world and is renowned for his large-scale murals.
The other mural on the side of the building is a colourful abstract in black, yellow, white and aqua designed and crafted by international artist and designer Mark McClure working with STATIC – a design collective.
Textile designer Samantha Warren who lives in Thornton Heath has also been helping on the project.
The project had £4,000 funding from Bensham Manor councillor Alison Butler’s community ward budget and additional grants from the Arts Council and council support.
Alison Butler said: “I am extremely pleased this project has finally come to fruition and I would thank Croydon Council, Mulalley and Rise Gallery for their assistance in making it happen.
“The project has had some challenges which has led to a change from the original design and artists but I am incredibly thankful that the artists Mark McClure, Static and Ben Slow have joined us. These artists offered interesting proposals, and showed great empathy towards the residents and the surrounding community.
“Although only partially complete, the work has already lifted the spirits of the residents and staff and is brightening the local area. Once complete, we will have a celebration involving the residents and the local community.”