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Competition: Antepavilion in Hackney, London

The Architecture Foundation has launched an international competition to design a £25,000 pop-up rooftop ‘Antepavilion’ at Columbia and Brunswick Wharf in Hackney, north-east London (Deadline: 31 March)

The contest, open to emerging architects, artists and designers, seeks ‘experimental’ proposals for a temporary structure to occupy the 40m² roof of a former industrial complex now used as artist studios, overlooking the Regent’s Canal in Haggerston.

The contest is planned to run every year, and is backed by studios operator Art House Foundation and historic regeneration specialist Shiva. The winning scheme will be erected on the rooftop by 1 August and will also feature in the annual Open House weekend.

Hackney, north-east London

Hackney, north-east London

Columbia and Brunswick Wharf

According to the brief: ‘The purpose of the project is to explore and encourage the range and complexity of work currently being produced across the disciplines of architecture design and fine art, and particularly to support and promote the work and ideas of less established architects, emerging practices, artists or craftsmen.

‘Considerable importance will be attached to the aesthetic contribution that structures can make to a highly visible, eclectic, experimental urban environment.’

The two-storey Columbia Wharf and its neighbour Brunswick Wharf were originally home to the Gas Light and Coke Company, but were transformed into artist studios almost 20 years ago. The two buildings, at 53-55 Laburnum Street, overlook Haggerston Baths and BDP’s 2008 Bridge Academy.

Artists based inside the Columbia and Brunswick Wharf complex include sculptor Owen Bullett, Dutch artist Magali Reus and 2016 Turner Prize winner Helen Marten.

Proposals should consider innovative or alternative ways of living within the city and new forms of urban housing, such as micro-dwellings. Sustainable schemes that harness recycled or recyclable materials are also encouraged.

The winning scheme may occupy the site for up to two years and should therefore be lightweight, quick to build and easy to disassemble.

Up to five shortlisted teams will each receive an equal share of a £3,000 fund to develop their schemes during the competition’s second phase. The shortlisted designs will feature in an exhibition inside the Art House Foundation Gallery space at Columbia Wharf.

The overall winner will receive a small cash prize alongside materials and labour to support delivering their design.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for submissions is midnight, 31 March.

Contact details

The Architecture Foundation
RCA
Kensington Gore
London
SW7 2EU

Tel: 02071860279
Email: mail@architecturefoundation.org.uk

Visit the competition website for more information

Sway case study: Q&A with Matanya Sack, Uri Reicher and Liat Muller

The co-founders of Sack and Reicher + Muller discuss lessons learned designing a temporary rooftop structure in Tel Aviv, Israel

Sack and Reicher + Muller

Sack and Reicher + Muller

Source: Image by Sack and Reicher + Muller

Sack and Reicher + Muller

How did your Sway project create an appropriate rooftop pavilion and dwelling for Tel Aviv?

Tel Aviv’s rooftops are flooded with strong sun, and Sway, using locally produced greenhouse textile, creates a shelter and a respite from the smouldering heat. Sway created an addition to the urban skyline with its multiple pods, suggesting a new urban landscape; its sheer envelope almost unnoticeable during the day and glowing with warm light at night.

Sway promoted the use of the Modernist flat roofs of Tel Aviv, which are commonly owned, but mostly abandoned today. It introduced a new sense of neighborhood up in the air, above street level.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel

Source: Image by Dan Perez

Sway by Sack and Reicher + Muller

Which architectural, material and other methods did you harness?

We have for long been fascinated with locally produced greenhouse textiles. The translucent aspect of the fabric allowed us to create a pavilion that is multi-layered and reveals its complexities and intricacies as one walks through the space; important for a project that deals mainly with the gathering of people. For such an intimate but complex structure, we designed and built hands-on, developing the structure through 1:1 prototypes, and physical structural tests, accompanied by digital parametric development.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel

Source: Image by Sack and Reicher + Muller

Sway by Sack and Reicher + Muller

What advice would you have on designing a temporary structure for Columbia and Brunswick Wharf ?

Ease and speed of construction was crucial, as was the idea that the pavilion could be easily relocated. To this end, we developed a system based on modules and variations. Thus each time Sway can have a different form, largely dependent on its location and use. The system uses elements from the mountaineering industry, to make it super lightweight and foldable into a backpack. As Tel Aviv tends to be quite windy at times, especially as our work was on the rooftop, we developed a ‘soft’ system of flexible joints, structure, and envelope. The modules sit delicately on the roof, using weights (of water or sand) doubling as seatings, rather than penetrating the ‘ground’. Thus, following the essence of a temporary pavilion, Sway leaves no traces; only memories…

Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel

Source: Image by Sack and Reicher + Muller

Sway by Sack and Reicher + Muller