Bio Re-generation

By German Nieva Mesas + Noelia Monteiro de Ribeiro

Connection to Harringay Warehouse District

The connection to Harringay and specifically with the warehouse district area is in the land use. The Harringay Warehouse District originated as an industrial site in the early 1900s and continues to host a culture of production to date. We understand that the sense of community that exists in Harringay is due to sharing a common interest in creating; a very hands-on approach that counteracts the predatory shopping and eating culture often linked to gentrification. The near zero-waste pavilion promotes the regeneration of local biodiversity and home-scale growth of food leading to a more resilient and sustainable urban lifestyle.

Proposal Outline

Tottenham Pavilion 2020 / Bio Re-generation

‘Thus it is easily conceivable that it may prove advantageous to grow wheat in very large fields (…) ; while the cultivation of vegetables, fruits, and flowers, which requires closer and more personal care, and more of the artistic and inventive faculty, may possibly be best dealt with by individuals, or by small groups of individuals having a common belief in the efficacy and value of certain dressings, methods of culture, or artificial and natural surroundings….’
Ebenezer Howard – Garden Cities of To-Morrow (1902).

Although the proposal takes cues from the traditional warehouse typology, such as a gentle pitch roof and random pepper-dotted skylights, the relation with Harringay is established by the land use. The Harringay Warehouse District originated as an industrial site and continues to host a culture of production to date. The temporary pavilion becomes an urban agriculture field for the growing of vegetables and plants with the capacity to regenerate the local biodiversity and for the local community to engage with a more sustainable urban lifestyle.

‘The whole is other than the sum of the parts’
The south facing sloped field is a cellular structure formed by a variable number – subject to budget – of 1mx1m cross laminated timber planters assembled in situ by the volunteers.

During the 6 months
The first green shoots in the urban farm should be appearing in the first month; small insects and bees will start to interact with the new field soon after. Workshops for the local community can take place under the canopy with a team of volunteers maintaining the urban farm.

After the 6 months
We think that the cost of the pavilion and even the materials used should not go to waste after its temporary use. The pavilion proposes an almost zero-waste strategy which is core to the design. The once empty planters are now full of life; they either host edible plants, bulbs or flowering plants. These planters can now be distributed within the local and wider community, promoting a more resilient, healthy and sustainable approach to urban life and creating micro-spots of local biodiversity across Harringay.

It is time we reconsider the ways we consume and a project bringing a new balance between life-work-produce in an urban setting can help redefine our relationship with nature and the community.