Behind Every Door

By InsideOut with artists Nadia Otshudi & MateTwo

Connection to Harringay Warehouse District

We were inspired by the creativity and ingenuity of warehouse residents repurposing everyday objects in unexpected ways to express identity, connectivity and sustainability. This design takes a simple, overlooked item – The Door and demonstrates its versatility, accessibility and individuality as a construction material.

Working with an ex-resident of the Arena Design Centre, we have been rewarded with stories and history of the area. These stories, of how the Warehouse District developed and why it is still important in helping local artists and the local community, became a strong influence in the development of the design concept.

Proposal Outline

People Matter

The regeneration of an area can dramatically change the local surroundings. Inconsiderate gentrification often focuses on profit rather than people, resulting in the displacement of existing communities and local culture. This project opens a door to past, present and future communities, giving them the opportunity to fight for sustainable growth, resist displacement and keep their community feeling at home.

Through architecture, art and design, there is an opportunity to share stories and draw attention to the overlooked elements of everyday life. It is often the smallest details or commonplace activities that are missed the most when they have been taken away from us. For a community to survive they need to join together, share their experience and share their stories.

A Pavilion of Doors

What is more commonplace than a front door? Behind every front door, found all around us, often overlooked, is life. A hidden world known only to a select few, full of history, full of culture and overflowing with stories. Each of us have a very personal connection with our front doors, evoking strong feelings when we turn that key to let ourselves in.

This pavilion is an opportunity to highlight the countless stories that make up a community. Bring the overlooked into the light and help each other fight for a sustainable future.

There are three main spaces:

1. `Behind Every Door’ Art Gallery

As you enter, you walk down a pathway of doors. Behind these doors are gallery spaces for art and sculpture. Viewed through cut outs, open doors and vision panels, these spaces are an opportunity for local artists to exhibit their work and share their message with others.

2. The Tower of Displacement

This tower represents the heart of the community. It stands tall, calling all to the site with its beacon of light. Inside you will find the doors covered with stories written by local residents. It resembles the essence of a community that we fight to preserve when gentrification threatens to change the landscape. Here you can read peoples’ stories or write your own and post it through the letterbox for others to enjoy.

3. The Door Assembly

This is the main event space. It’s standardised square form represents the risk that thoughtless generic regeneration projects can have on an area. This is amplified by the noticeable scar in the canopy and markings on the floor that outline the shape of the Displaced Tower. However, thoughtful positive regeneration creates opportunities that bring together a strong community structure made up of individuals (represented by the doors), where culture, creativity and accessibility can continue to thrive.

In this space you are surrounded by countless doors letting sunlight pierce through the panels onto a giant mural (details in the notes). It opens out onto a garden space for those overflowing events and has a large sliding `warehouse style’ door to close off the space for quieter performances.

Behind every door is a story; that story is the fabric of a community.