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Tottenham Canal Citizens' House

THE LEE IS THE PRIMARY WATERWAY THROUGH TOTTENHAM, NORTH LONDON, AND REFLECTS THE REALITY OF UNEVEN INNER-CITY DEVELOPMENT AND RIGHT TO THE CITY AS MORE PEOPLE ARE FORCED TO RESIDE THERE; MANY UNABLE TO AFFORD PERMANENT MOORING STATUS LIVE UNDER ‘CONTINUOUS CRUISING’ TERMS.

Our design for Citizens’ House seeks to bring together Tottenhams’ unique waterway, transient community and existing industry, in a collaborative scheme of co-creation and resourcefulness. Can the combination of people using the site, entering and leaving, be used to generate a space for multigenerational inclusion and provision? 


A new type of community centre is proposed, with an equal focus on people and resources. The design forms as an extension of the narrowboat. A dry dock stands at the center of the project, acting simultaneously as the arrival and departure for boaters, and an essential means to repair, trade, and congregate. Guided by quintessential mechanisms of canal technologies and water control, the building envelopes strategies to collect, filter and redistribute run-off and precipitation, both for use by visiting boaters and the wider community. 


The project pivots around accumulative interactions by its users. Whether in-use during its lifetime (pre-empting damage and repair), to its very construction (strategies to fix the roof tiles from the inside-out). In its entirety, the work seeks to push the boundaries of architectural urban consciousness beyond the ‘inner’, to realign London policy and inclusion toward our most sensitive ‘outer’ communities and habitats. 

PeopleMatter rethinks cities to improve quality of urban life