After the craze of the competition and the chaos of coronavirus, a real sense of calm has been the theme of July. Fortunately some lockdown measures have lifted and we’ve been able to get out and about meeting in small groups face to face. One of the ideas that was put forward by a few of the warehouse residents we’ve met was for us to share more about conversations we are having, so we’ve decided to do a monthly diary entry to keep everyone updated.
04/07/20 – First meeting with Nine
Up until this point Nine, the winning design team, were two dimensional; we’d seen their design proposal and only spoken briefly in a podcast. This Saturday morning Carolina, James & Joe, dialled into a Zoom meeting to meet Hamish, Barney & Will, from Nine.
For all, after what had been a long process getting here, there was a real excitement at the thought of making things happen. One of the topics covered was that nothing is for certain at this point – yet, for everyone there was a great sense of optimism and enthusiasm to make it happen if we can.
The one thing that stood out to us was the dynamic – the three young architects got us and what we were aiming to do. They see their design as a starting point and have a very open, collaborative approach to developing it further through meeting warehouse residents later in the summer.
15/07/20 – Meeting with Cara House Residents
The minute lockdown restrictions eased, we knew we wanted to get out and start meeting people face to face. As the warehouse building nearest to the site, Cara House residents were top of the list. Having outlined what we intended to do in Phase 2, we’d received a few emails from Cara House residents concerned about how the Pavilion project might impact the impromptu garden they’d created on the site during lockdown.
The chance to meet face to face (outside, with social distancing) was great. So much gets lost in emails and social media – within minutes the atmosphere was positive and proactive. The residents were quick to understand our motivations and were assured that we understood the value of outdoor space. It’s not our site, it belongs to the landlord, so we couldn’t give any firm promises but we did agree to share their thoughts with the landlord and be flexible in developing the Pavilion design. A key meeting will be when winning architects host a site visit with warehouse residents later in the summer.
30/07/20 – Warehouse Residents Meet-up
We wanted to get another meeting in with residents from across the warehouse district – anyone curious, concerned or keen to get involved in the project. The meeting was small, but everyone who came along was really excited about the Pavilion. One warehouse resident was passionate about dance commissions in unfamiliar surroundings, having previously run a project on the Millennium Bridge. For the others, the discussion was more focused on how we as organisers could help facilitate ideas. We discussed hosting a workshop for residents to meet and spark of each other to come with ideas of what could happen in the space if it goes ahead. [We’re looking at dates to make this happen in Aug / Sept].
Other discussions were about connecting to the local area – one of the attendees, for example, flagged the Save our Happy Man Tree campaign and the impromptu events they’ve been hosting.
The group agreed to be the founding members of a Warehouse Pavilion Group (open to ideas on a better name!). We agreed that any warehouse residents are welcome to join, that we’d start a WhatsApp group chat and aim to meet monthly. The rest we’ll let evolve.
We spoke with Shulem, from Provewell Ltd / Spaces for Creatives (the main landlord) to keep him updated on our approach to consultations / phase two.
We reached out to Tottenham’s Creative Enterprise Zone team for advice on feasibility funding to support the work needed to apply for planning permission for the temporary pavilion structure.
And have got someone lined up to fix, the fairly weathered, Tottenham Pavilion sign.
All in all, it was a great month!