By David Rickard & Arup

Connection to Harringay Warehouse District

Prop Pavilion connects with the Harringay Warehouse district conceptually and physically.

Initially the project will involve the collection of used timber from the warehouses and the wider local community. Assembled to form the pavilion floor, in a configuration agreed by the self-build team, the timber will form a tapestry of collaboration that holds traces of previous uses.

The concrete ceiling will be cast directly onto the podium floor before being raised into position. Held aloft by a team of Arcow Props, the ceiling will reveal an imprint of the floor below like a temporary floating monument to community and collaboration.

Proposal Outline

Within theatre a ‘prop’ is a physical device used to set the scene. In much the same way, this temporary pavilion is designed to provide a backdrop to a range of community groups, giving a focus point for community activities and events. A prop is also a temporary structural support used during construction to support an architectural element. This physical process of support defines the structural principle of the Prop Pavilion, as a series of temporary supports will separate the ceiling from floor in order to create a new community space.

The floor of the Prop Pavilion will be made from recycled timber, sourced locally and bearing marks for previous uses. Placed together to form a patchwork podium, a broad range of diverse elements will come together to form a single space, like the diversity and cohesive strength of a community group. Built by a local self-build team, the arrangement and pattern of the reclaimed timber will be agreed on site, forming a visual record of collaboration and teamwork in process.

Once the podium has been formed, it will be enclosed with shuttering before a thin GRC skin is poured over the entire surface. Once cured, this lightweight concrete shell with steel reinforcing will be raised up to form the soffit of the pavilion, revealing an imprint of the textured floor below like a monument to local collaboration. Lifting the concrete soffit into place will also form a dramatic event during the process of building as we literally raise the roof!

Once the roof is raised, Acrow props will be carefully installed between podium below and the concrete soffit above, pressing these to horizontal surfaces apart, with the ceiling texture reflecting the floor boards below. Lightweight cross braces will also be fitted for lateral stability before the community are welcomed into their new space.

Prop Pavilion will embody the materials of the Harringay warehouse district and celebrate the spirit of collaboration necessary for successful warehouse living. The propped nature of the pavilion also references the temporary and often fluid nature of warehouse communities.

Prop Pavilion celebrates community resources and the process of construction in order to form a temporary pavilion built by the local community for the local community.