By MW Architects

Connection to Harringay Warehouse District

The scheme envisages to reflect on both industrial heritage of the warehouses and the character of the current warehouse living environments. Its industrial past will be seen through the use of hollow steel sections and the fabric-like tarpaulin roofs to showcase Haringey’s previous textile factories. Whilst the process of construction, the reconfiguration of the pavilion over time and the experience of the place will take the artists infatuation of the communal work-live concept into the public realm. The re-purposing of recycled goods and materials will also be incorporated in the making of the various programmes.

Proposal Outline

This project reimagines a new temporary cluster of external studios, performance and market spaces based on gathering spaces and community places around the Harringay Warehouse District area. We have attempted to design a structure that is free-form yet rigorous, modular yet structural and a framework that allows the public to fabricate their own spaces. Inspired by the artist Todd Mclellan and Architect Yona Friedman, the scheme experiments on the notion of creating adaptable and ever-changing improvised volumes floating in space. This is achieved through this use of a cubic modular structure that could be assembled and reassembled in different formations.

The pavilion itself is built from hollow steel sections that is used to create four cubic modules that are then multiplied in great numbers: a 400mm x 400mm cube, 600mm x 600mm cube, 1200mm x 1200mm cube and a 2400mm x 2400mm cube. The spaces and shapes of the pavilion are created from a process of addition, superimposition, subtraction and splicing of these units. These volumes can then be turned into workshops, performance and market spaces by employing a mix of up-cycled, – by disassembling and reassembling recycled products – low tech materials and timber components which would then be deployed onto the steel structure.

In order for this to be constructed, the ‘Floating Playhouse’ will be split into 7 mini pavilions. Each mini pavilion will be built by a warehouse community in the district (i.e. The New River Studios, Overbury Road) alongside volunteers in order to create a varied approach to each modular design. Each of these structures will be displaced to neighbourhoods across London. Following on from community events at these locations, these 7 structures will evolve and all these mini pavilions will be introduced all onto the designated site to create one big pavilion. Where they intersect, like a Tetris puzzle, they will produce spaces together.

This simple manipulation of orthogonal spaces creates an artificial landscape with cave-like interiors, where in some parts sheltered and other parts open. Defining this dynamic three-dimensional experience opens up the opportunity for the different volumes to be explored and used in variety of ways, inside and outside. As the pavilion will be experienced on different floor levels, the steel frame gives the impression that platforms, panels and people are floating in space. As a result, it becomes an object experienced through movement, with repetition and consistency, but with variation and disruption at every turn.