Tottenham Common

By Unit38

Connection to Harringay Warehouse District

The Common is wrapped in frosted PVC industrial curtains, affordable and mass produced a common site in any industrial district, obscuring and blurring all the activity within. Like all the best warehouses, an austere exterior leads in to a creative and dynamic interior. The curtains are draped over the structure, creating a theatrical and stage-like setting for events while reference the rag trade that Harringay Warehouse District was once known for.

Proposal Outline

Wards Corner has long been a symbolic building of Seven Sisters, marking an important junction for over a century, but lying empty since the 1980s. It is threatened with demolition, to make way for private flats, but the Wards Corner Community Plan will refurbish the corner building making space for local events and community organisation. Our proposal for the Tottenham Pavilion will create a replica model of one floor of the Wards Corner building on the site. This room will host events to continue the work we are beginning now with Tottenham in Common: actually existing alternatives to neoliberalism and organising for a new urban politics . Alongside a dynamic series of events, talks, workshops and parties the space will show what could be possible in Tottenham if communities were given more power to self-organise.

The Corner building is to be marked out by red PVC industrial curtains, creating a soft outline to the space to allow for flexible programming of the space. The site is then wrapped in a taller line of frosted PVC industrial curtains. These blur and obscure the activity happening within, giving privacy to the interior and creating intrigue from the street. The curtains can be fixed or opened as needed, allowing the pavilion to be entered from one single point for a timed event like a talk or opened up completely to the street for markets or workshops.

The curtains are to be hung from a standard scaffolding structure (which could be upgraded to a timber structure if the lifespan of the building and fundraising permits). A corrugated metal roof shelters the interstitial spaces, creating a space of shadow before arriving into the light through the red curtains in the central space. These smaller spaces can be used for events, workshops and market stalls, while the central space acts like a town square or village common. Large enough to hold concerts, talks and fairs. The pavilion steps up at Seven Sisters Road to make the site visible when approaching on the main road, marking what has always been a boundary following the New River, from residential to industrial, Hackney to Haringey.