two thousand and twenty one blocks, in a garden

By David Eagleton and Jennifer Pirie

Connection to Harringay Warehouse District

The proposal is to make a public garden on the fringe of the Harringay Warehouse District. The garden will house a series of pavilions, platforms and structures and will allow a variety of community activities to take place amongst a wildflower landscape.

Materials will make reference to the industrial buildings of the district with walls, floors and seating made from two thousand and twenty one stacked blocks and roofs and gates made from galvanised steel. The structures will be surrounded by wildflowers and hardy grasses giving reference to the pockets of informal and unplanned green space found in the district.

Proposal Outline

The proposal is to create a series of informal structures and pavilions within a planted wildflower landscape creating a community garden at the edge of the Harringay Warehouse District.

The site is thought of as a microcosm of the wider warehouse district. Two primary pavilions are arranged in an informal relationship to define the areas within the garden. The pavilions are largely open with a lightweight galvanised steel roof with open steel grating supported on three corners by blockwork columns. One column on each pavilion is continued above the roof extending to offer weight as a structural counterweight to allow the structure to cantilever at its fourth corner. The floor surface is made of laid blocks.

To the rear of the site a south facing amphitheatre is made from stacked blockwork addressing a hard landscaped piazza. The amphitheatre is purposefully placed at the furthest point from Seven Sisters Road and Eade Road to reduce the impact of traffic noise, with further shelter from the two pavilions.

A socially distant platform is made amongst the garden for smaller and more intimate gatherings.

A section of the existing fence along Eade Road will be removed to make a new entrance to the garden, with a new galvanised steel gate for security. It is thought the remaining existing fencing will be retained as a means of economy, but should the opportunity arise at a later stage this should be reviewed.

The pavilions and interventions have been purposefully kept simple to keep costs down, while simultaneously creating recognisable and figurative forms within the site. With the budget for building kept low it is imagined that a majority of the budget will be spent on planting and creating the wildflower garden.

The pavilions have been designed as open elements to allow a wide variety of activities and events to take place beneath the lightweight roof structure. It is possible to imagine these spaces being used for a wide arrange of gatherings, markets, workshops and play with the possibility to spread out to the piazza and allowing a direct connection to the wildflower garden. The amphitheatre addressing the piazza offers an obvious performance space for plays and dance to take place with the possibility for the pavilions to act as a backdrop or a space for a temporary interval bar. The garden would act as an ever present backdrop to all of these events.

The pavilion and structures are thought of as a celebration of simple standard building materials. It is hoped that this will allow the pavilions to be demounted at the end of their life at which point the materials could be offered for community self build projects within the Harringay Warehouse District or across the wider borough. It is also hoped that the wildflower garden and planting could be offered to residents of the district to take away in bits and replant when the pavilion has reached its end of life to maintain the idea of urban nature within the area.