Life’s a Beach

By Fisher Cheng

Connection to Harringay Warehouse District

The creative vibrancy and unhindered flexibility afforded to the Harringay Warehouse District community is a remarkable rarity. Situated in Seven Sisters, the area is lively and bustling yet like many parts of London, it is faced with burgeoning pressure for change which often comes with the loss of character and diversity. We see the Warehouse District as a bastion for artistic expression, a fortification for creative living, a stronghold of diversity. Our design is an interpretation of the district as the most playful of fortifications – a keep with the proportions of a sandcastle, set amidst an urban beachscape.

Proposal Outline

Life’s a Beach proposes to turn the existing car park into an urban beachscape, where the central focus is the Keep, a vibrant, colourful castle-like structure to house gatherings, performances and workshops. Multiple openings allow access into the central stage – a flexible space capable of hosting mixed events. Two spiral staircases form turrets either side of the structure, allowing access to a roof deck where revellers can gain a birds-eye-view of performances happening below and distant views further afield. Market stalls line the edges of the site, adding to the beach party atmosphere of the proposal.

The aim of the Keep is to be an open and democratic space for members of the community and beyond, subverting traditional notions of power – more sandcastle than Windsor castle. The form of the pavilion makes reference to the castle as an unexpected local building typology. The pavilion is situated along an axis between Bruce Castle to the North and the Castle climbing centre to the south, an old pumping station and much loved local landmark. The playful take on the formal geometry instills a sense of history and place within Harringey, celebrating this unusual building typology.

In the midst of a tumultuous year, Life’s a Beach offers a light-hearted effervescent antidote that reinforces the creativity and uniqueness of the area.