Harringay Vaults

By Niall Anderson

Connection to Harringay Warehouse District

Material connection – The pavilion utilises raw materials seen throughout the district. The resulting complexity comes from the convergence of modest elements.

Formal connection – The use of simple, repeated elements, drawing on industrial forms, allows the pavilion to read as being born of its surroundings.

Structural connection– The strength of the structure as a whole is realised through interaction between its individual elements. In isolation, the structure would fail. The community spirit prevalent in HWD exists within this same framework.

Through these themes the pavilion champions the small, becoming larger than the sum of parts, and creates community space.

Proposal Outline

The pavilion has been designed as a multi-functional gathering space for the Harringay community. It creates a series of public spaces in miniature: an arcade or enfilade which forms the entrance and creates a thick edge to the site, a courtyard held between the pavilion elements and the site boundary, and an assembly space defined by the timber roof.

The definition of each of these spaces is intentionally loose and multiplicitous. The cantilevered corners of the timber roofs open the principal covered space out to the courtyard and the vaults. The form of each of the two types of steel column is directional in opposing ways. The columns which hold the vaults have their support split into two legs creating a transversal linear space, or series of spaces, which extend from the entrance along Eade Road and can be read as an enfilade or arcade. When subdivided with translucent screens, the smaller scale of the individual steel vaults could accommodate market stalls or small groups of people whilst allowing light to filter through. The columns supporting the timber roofs have a single central support which orients space parallel to the column. This focuses the gathering space towards the trees at the rear of the site which will act as a backdrop to performances.

The vaulted edge is a visually permeable threshold, separating the site from the traffic on Seven Sisters Rd without closing the pavilion off to its context, with views through to activity beyond inviting the passing community in. The existing fence plays into this, providing a degree of enclosure whilst remaining a neutral component. Maintaining a visual connection ensures the pavilion will feel inclusive. It will be an informal, flexible space which can accommodate various and divergent community uses.

The materiality takes the industrial and, through thoughtful detailing and assembly, creates a structure which is absolutely of its context but sufficiently abstracted to generate its own autonomy. The repeated roof forms reference the sawtooth warehouse roofs seen throughout Harringay Warehouse District, but remake these as a series of timber trapezoidal prisms, held aloft to create a space to gather below.

The modularity which in inherent to the design allows pavilion to shift and change to respond to the specifics of this, or any future, site. It enables the final arrangement of elements to be developed and agreed with the local HWD community to best understand and tailor the pavilion to the community’s priorities.