By Thomas Randall-Page and Benedetta Rogers - April 2018

"The 2018 Antepavilion, which will traveled London’s waterways in the summer, was conceived as a two-level inflatable space with a high-pressure supporting structure and low-pressure canopy resting on a historic steel barge named Ouse.

The design, which was realised with the help of structural engineers, AKT II, allowed the barge to deflate in order to fit through the many low bridges and tunnels which line London’s canal network then re-inflate creating a pop-up performance space.

Phineas Harper who chaired the jury said: “The jury were deeply impressed with the calibre and creativity of the finalists. Thomas Randall-Page and Benedetta Rogers’ winning design is exhilarating and joyful, drawing upon the work of Jeffrey Shaw and Ant Farm. The bold and experimental nature of the team’s proposed structure and the festive programme of events they envision along the length of the Regent’s Canal make it an exciting and worthy winner of the 2018 Antepavilion Commission."


2018 BRIEF

Architects, artists and designers are invited to propose a floating structure to be sited on the Regent’s canal at Columbia and Brunswick Wharf in Hackney. The platform for entries is the 62 foot motor barge, ‘Ouse’, built in 1934 for canal operators, Canal Transport Ltd for maintenance on the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Ouse is now moored alongside Columbia and Brunswick Wharf as a base for the new structure.

As with its prececessor, the concept of the floating Antepavilion is not prescribed. Entries may be purely sculptural, structural or political, or have a real or notional function such as social, habitable or performance space. Proposals for public events to take place in the Antepavilion will need to be self-financing or resourced from the overall budget.

The panel of judges will be mindful of sustainability considerations and credit will be given to entries that, for example, make good use of recycled or renewable materials.

The Antepavilion commission is intended to facilitate hands-on engagement with craft and construction. It is therefore part of the brief that the winning design team will be engaged directly with the construction process in a hands-on manner. A credible realisation plan will be an essential feature of the winning proposal. Shortlisted entires will have the opportunity to develop their realisation and construction strategy with engineers from AKT II.  



"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.

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."



"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."



"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 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."


Mary Duggan (Mary Duggan Architects); Theo Molloy (PUP Architects); Russell Gray (Shiva Ltd); Emily King (Design writer); Beth Hughes (Head of architecture at the RCA) and Phineas Harper (The Architecture Foundation)

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