The Kite and Ladder

By Lucas Facer and Thomas Randall-Page

Connection to Harringay Warehouse District

Lucas has been living in the nearby Fountayne Road warehouse community for nearly 5 years and has many close connections with friends and collaborators at Manor House. He knows the dynamics of the community and those that manage it well.

Thomas is a long term resident of hackney and has lived and worked in Stoke Newington for 10 years so this warehouse community has always been a feature of his life there.

Lucas and Thomas both have a network of talented builders and makers in the warehouse community that would be more than happy to come and support the construction

Proposal Outline

The Kite & Ladder is not, as the name would suggest, a public house. It’s something far more intriguing. It’s a public shed, a communal attic, a physical celebration of sharing. A library of all those things you use but once in a blue moon: a pasta machine, a green screen, a tambourine.

Warehouse communities are unique in offering a way of living where sharing of space & objects is encouraged & embraced. This is evident in the social media groups where objects & services are offered & requested. These sharing economies are normally hidden to the outside world. The Kite & Ladder, on the other hand, will be a public, physical manifestation of this wonderful phenomenon.

Taking the form of an advertisement billboard, this pavilion invites you to borrow rather than buy. Objects lent or sourced from London’s thriving online second-hand marketplace will be loaned to local residents for use within their community.

Much as in a library, a list is kept of members and objects; and a deposit placed for the cost of each item loaned out.

To keep the objects safe and the service free, two or three residents oversee the object repository each day. In exchange for volunteering their time, and administering the loaning of items, they are offered a free workspace inside the pavilion for the duration of the project.

Architecturally, the familiar billboard structure sits behind the fence looking out to the public space beyond. The raised storage space within is locked up at night and a roller shutter pulls down over the open face. Silhouettes of the objects contained will be painted on the outside of the large pull-down shutter, much as tools’ shadows are found in a workshop.

The Kite & Ladder does not dictate the specific use of this abandoned site, but instead facilitates the warehouse community’s re-enlivening of this discovered space, something they are expert at! Tools can be borrowed, raised-beds built and bunting hung. Music can be played and marshmallows toasted. Beneath the splayed legs of the structure a long sheltered space is created to host events, run workshops, and feast.

Whether you want to rip out your kitchen, build a new bedroom, have a go at that overgrown garden, craft some presents or throw a huge party, this is the first place you’ll try! Before you go and buy something, you’ll naturally first see if they have it up The Kite & Ladder.