By Marco Vanucci, OPENSYSTEMS Architecture
Connection to Harringay Warehouse District
The project provides a simple and visually striking canopy structure to the vibrant and diverse community of the Harringay Warehouse District. The roof structure, while providing shelter, contributes to the creation of a sense of place. By freeing up the ground level, the community can flexibly organise events, markets, concerts and parties at will.
The canopy is made out of identical modules supporting one another. This feature, besides being a metaphor of the way the community strives, pays a tribute to the industrial nature of the area and offers, at the same time, the opportunity for customisation and creative appropriation.
The project for the Tottenham Pavilion is designed as an experiment in “circular economy”. The pavilion is designed as a kit of parts, where each individual element is produced from standard sheet of timber and can be easily assembled and disassemble, once no longer in use, and re-cycled or re-purposed.
By taking advantage of CAD-CAM techniques, which seamlessly link digital modelling and fabrication, the design aims at the off-site pre-fabrication of modular components. These elements are designed to ease transportation and ease of handling and assembly by workers. The structure is made of CNC milled ply panels which, by mean of tongue and groove connections, can be slotted into each other providing stability to the whole structure.
This structure follow the principle of the reciprocal frames, which is a class of self-supporting structure made of three or more beams and which requires no centre support to create roofs.
The vertical structure is provided by slim scaffold columns so that the plan is left as open as possible for events and activities to take place. The triangular openings on the roof cast dynamic patterns of light and shadows over the space of the pavilion and establishes a relationship with the elements.
The structure of the roof can be customised by the users: the modular differentiated geometry can be painted or used to hang textile and subdivide the space as well as provide support for banners, lights etc..The community will, in fact, contribute to the development of the structure by actively participating to its making overtime.
The modular nature of the project establishes a connection to the industrial context of the site.
At the same time, it offers shelter and leaves open a “common ground” for the community to flexibly use and appropriate. The pavilion gently “floats over” the space allowing the users to use the space. In this sense, the project for the Tottenham Pavilion aims at becoming a beacon of sustainable design, where the material, environmental and social aspects are addressed. The economic use of material resources (material sustainability) is paired by the attention for the life-cycle of the structure (environmental sustainability) and by strengthening the local community (social sustainability).