Antepavilion 2020

The 2020 Antepavilion commission invites proposals that engage with the Regent's Canal at water level.

The 2020 Antepavilion will be moored alongside Brunswick/Columbia Wharf on a platform of NATO pontoons: a system of interlocking cuboid floats, each of 4.2m metres by 2.1m area. Entrants are free to configure up to seven of these units to form the platform for their proposal.

Two of the available floats are ‘swim ends’ with raked leading edges for easier towing through the water. Entrants are free to propose a particular location alongside the Hoxton Docks building, or alternatively to utilise the mobility of the modular pontoon system. As the structure will be afloat adjacent to AirDraft, proposals might utilise that relationship but their projects may also stand entirely independent. Similarly, proposals may interact with the wharf buildings to a greater or lesser extent.

An ambition to expose and question the authoritarian workings of our planning culture has always been fundamental to the Antepavilion commission so it was not altogether a surprise when, on 23 October 2019, Hackney Council served an enforcement notice against the 2017 Antepavilion, HVAC, and the 2019 Potemkin Theatre (as well as other elements of the Brunswick/Columbia Wharf roofscape). An appeal against that notice was lodged with the Planning Inspectorate on 3 December. 

Hackney is currently (as of late December) refusing to engage on the specifics of its objections to the rooftop structures or explain what public benefits they are aiming to secure by having them removed. This process will be ongoing for some time and relevant informative documents arising in the Appeal process will be published on this site for entrants to read. As a case study in planning enforcement it should be informative to entrants in the 2020 Antepavilion commission but also to a wider audience, particularly of architects and planners. Whatever the outcome of the current dispute, we remain fully committed to the realisation of the 2020 Antepavilion.

Entries that respond to the tension between authoritarian governance of the built environment and aesthetic libertarianism will be particularly welcomed in the face of the prevailing attempts by the Council to close down the Antepavilion commission. A video commentary on how local planning decisions have re-shaped the canalside environment of the Antepavilion site along the Regents Canal will be added to resources for reference in the next few weeks.  


The budget for the project is £25,000 which is split into a £10,000 prize fund and £15,000 worth of materials and labour. Teams are free to propose putting a portion of the prize fund towards the construction budget. Carefully considered budgeting is an essential element of the Antepavilion commission. The winning team will be invited to work with the workshops, machinery and craftsmen on site at the Wharf, leading to the completion and installation of the finished structure by July 2020.

Process and selection

Entries to the Antepavilion competition should be submitted digitally via the online entry form.Each entry should comprise a proposal title, team or practice name and two A3 boards describing the proposed structure formatted as a single PDF document. The PDF should be named in the following format:NAME OF PROPOSAL_NAME OF PRACTICE/ARTIST.pdf

The boards themselves must be anonymous. Please do not include the names or contact details of your practice in the PDF, only as the file name and in the entry form. Entries will be considered by a cross-disciplinary jury including artists and architects to be announced shortly.

Open Days

Potential entrants are invited to view the site at one of three open days:

Saturday 11 January, 1pm - 4pm.
Friday 24 January, 12pm - 3pm. 
Sunday 16 February, 11am - 2pm.

Visitors should head to Columbia and Brunswick Wharf, 53 Laburnum Street, E2 8BD where there will be further directions. The roof and canal setting can also be seen from the public footpath which runs along the north side of the canal. There is no need to book a place at an open day but you should make sure you have registered interest in the commission before attending.


The deadline for entries is February 24th 2020. Three to five of the entries will be selected by the panel for further development. A small bursary of £3,000 will be divided equally between the shortlisted applicants to fund the development of their final presentation. AKT II Engineering will also provide support to develop the structural and construction strategy of the shortlisted proposals in the form of one-to-one meetings with each shortlisted team.

Exhibition of shortlist

The shortlisted entries will be exhibited at Columbia and Brunswick Wharf during the Antepavilion opening party in August.


Questions from entrants may be emailed to Answers will be posted openly on the Antepavilion and Architecture Foundation websites.

Columbia and Brunswick Wharf

Columbia and Brunswick Wharf is a complex of artists’ studios, workshops and events spaces. It occasionally hosts large events. The site is not open to the public except for occasional special events such as Open House.

Further reading

Antepavilion is currently engaged in a research project entitled Anarchitecture which is discussed here

Submit your entry

Enter the 2020 Antepavilion competition

Submit entry