2018 Antepavilion shortlist announced

Five emerging practices have been shortlisted for the 2018 Antepavilion commission. The shortlist, which was whittled down from 132 entries in an open competition, features Thomas Bates, Duman Studio, Randall-Page Rogers, Max Dewdney Architects with No-To-Scale, and Kennedy Woods Architecture.

The Antepavilion is an annual commission to build an experimental piece of architecture at Hoxton Docks in East London, supported by the Architecture Foundation and Heritage Property Developer, Shiva Ltd. This year’s commission requires the teams to make use of an operational historic steel barge named “Ouse”, which has been obtained for the competition and is moored on the Regent’s Canal.

The shortlisted teams now have three weeks to develop their projects with the help of an honorarium and an engineering consultation from AKTii. The winner will be decided by the jury after a competitive interview.

The jury comprises Mary Duggan of Mary Duggan Architects, Theo Molloy of PUP Architects, Russell Gray, founder Shiva Ltd, the design writer Emily King, and Beth Hughes, head of architecture at the RCA, and is chaired by Phineas Harper from the Architecture Foundation.

The 2017 Antepavilion commission was won by PUP Architects, who created a micro house disguised as a sculptural air conditioning duct on the roof of a warehouse building.


Air Draft by Randall-Page Rogers

Architect’s statement As much as canals changed London, London’s canals have changed, from conduits of industry and cargo to arteries of art, culture and leisure. Through this proposal we want to reflect upon this change.

Having spent her life hauling heavy loads, Ouse is in for a treat! We plan to give her a huge cargo but of something somewhat lighter - Air. With a boat for a father and an airship for a mother, Air Draft is an inflatable space for relaxation and performance. The lower of two membranes produces a soft playful landscape for lounging around on, and a second far lighter membrane provides shelter and enclosure.

Docked to Brunswick and Columbia Wharf, Air Draft adds to the current event space offer. Accessed off the existing deck, Air Draft provides a place for guests to kick off their shoes and lounge about in playful comfort.

When the membranes are deflated, Air Draft has ample clearance under even the lowest canal bridge. This provides the potential for Ouse and her new cargo to relocate and tour if desired. Viewed from the towpath Air Draft resembles a curiously overloaded cargo boat complementing and adding to the ensemble of playful and artistic structures.


Pop-Up Parliament by Max Dewdney Architects and No-To-Scale

Architect’s statement Pop-Up Parliament is a platform to host alternative events. Pop-Up Parliament inverts the Gothic interiors of Westminster Hall to transform the Ouse into an open-air structure with a light and transparent roof. Within the structure is a covered seating area with a built-in swap library and debating chamber to be used for a programmed series of events and talks that will focus on the spaces of decision-making, from polling booths to local and national party headquarters and the decline of the town hall.

The audience for the pavilion are primarily the local people of Haggerston. Pop-Up Pavilion will offer a space to the Hackney Youth Parliament to host debates over the summer. Local councillors Barry Buitekant, Jonathan McShane and Ann Munn will be invited to run their monthly surgeries within the structure.

It will be constructed out of sustainably sourced plywood timber for the main frame, with reclaimed timber decking, rope and transparent recyclable polycarbonate for the roof. The build process will involve a series of scaled modelling and 1:1 prototypes and detailing. The construction will invite the local participation of interested students from the adjacent Bridge Academy who will also be invited to perform on the opening night.


Buttyboat by Thomas Bates

Architect’s statement At the beginning of the 20th century, working narrowboats were operated and often constructed in pairs. The principal boat was powered by steam or diesel and the second boat was towed. The second boat was known as a buttyboat. The word ‘butty’ is an old mining word for ‘fellow or workmate’.

The proposal is to construct a second boat; a friend or fellow for Ouse. This buttyboat will be built on Ouse on large props and it will remain in its elevated construction position. The elevated boat will act as a timber canopy, forming a space underneath that can be used by those in the workshops, artists’ studios, and events space.

A tall, crane-like lantern will also be located on the barge to help define a small public space where people can gather. It also acts as a reminder of the crane that was located on Ouse during its working days.


Re-Ouse by Duman Studio

Architect’s statement The Regent’s canal from Islington to Mile End is highly varied in nature. To reflect the ever-changing requirements of this site, Re-Ouse fluctuates, evolves and transforms.

The design is characterised by two illuminated sculptural canopies, made from recycled white translucent sails. The movements of the canopies are reminiscent of the cranes which were once used to load cargo onto the boat. Similarly to the cranes, they pivot up and down from two axis.

Moored outside Victoria park in the summer, the Ouse can open up to become a bar or small cinema space. Outside Cyber Street it may lower its canopies to form a floating exhibition space, or perhaps it will float further down to Queen Mary’s University, with its blocks and canopies rearranged into an outdoor teaching space or debating chamber.

The four types of furniture blocks are to be positioned to complement the configuration of the canopies, which allows for the boat’s ever-evolving activities.

Interwoven together, these elements transform the Ouse into a harmonious machine of flowing parts - a seamless icon of local energy, breathing life and light once again into this historic boat and reawakening areas of London that for too long have been under-appreciated.


Travelling Restaurant to Tackle Hidden Homelessness by Kennedy Woods Architecture

Architect’s statement Pavilion architecture is too often wasteful, formalist and purposeless, directing designers’ energy away from real problems in society. Our Antepavillion turns this supposition on its head by creating a valuable space for a start-up social enterprise.

Our proposal is to convert the Ouse into a travelling supper-club for Fat Macy’s, a social enterprise tackling the hidden homelessness crisis. The concept is to create a nomadic, hidden space, concealed by a minimal roof form in the day, which dramatically opens each evening, capturing the attention of passers-by.

The proposal will create value in the following ways:

Purposeful: It will create real impact to people’s lives who are in need of help, while raising awareness about an important social issue.

Sustainable: An operator will maintain the structure by using it and reinvesting revenue into its upkeep so it won’t fall into disrepair.

Functional: The design creates a space to be used by people, both employees and visitors, for dinners, events and talks.

Political: It will raise awareness of the ‘hidden homeless’ crisis.

Let’s send a message to the Serpentine by creating a pavilion with social impact.