BY MAICH SWIFT - MARCH 2019
"The 2019 Antepavilion, titled Potemkin Theatre, will play host to a programme of events that will activate the roofscape of the Columbia and Brunswick Wharf site, its adjacent canal and roadsides with public performances.
Maich Swift’s winning proposal is for a timber structure clad in colourful panels of painted canvas, which will act as both a canalside theatre and rooftop cinema. Just as the Haggerston Baths sit empty across Laburnum Street, waiting to be restored to life, this little theatre of the everyday is a beacon full of potential waiting for occupation.
Potential programming includes site-specific productions with touring theatre productions, small music concerts, film screenings, soapbox speeches or comedy shows."
This year’s brief challenges entrants to propose structures for a particularly prominent site at Columbia and Brunswick Wharf – the north west roof of the largest warehouse which projects out into the Regent’s Canal adjacent to Haggerston Bridge (a grade 2 listed structure). The new structure should take its place as a beacon of the Wharf complex and its alternative educational and experimental ethos.
The site is currently home to Flood House, a temporary structure designed by Matthew Butcher which served as a floating dwelling and a laboratory for monitoring local environmental conditions in the Thames Estuary. For 2019 the Flood House will be retired to make way for the third Antepavilion.Currently, the Flood House is sitting on a load-bearing platform constructed from scaffold lattice beams with timber decking. The platform will remain on the roof and provide a base for the new Antepavilion structure (see picture). The shortlisted entries will have the opportunity to develop their realisation and construction strategy with engineers from AKT II, who will also work with the winning designers to realise the built design.
The new pavilion will sit alongside a number of other informal rooftop structures including PUP Architects’ H-VAC, a prefabricated cardboard Wikkelhouse by Dutch firm Fiction Factory, and a single-storey beach house made from recycled tetrapack.
The programme for the Antepavilion is not set. It could be a purely sculptural object, a signpost or watchtower or perform a more specific function. The site is particularly prominent and can be seen from both directions along the canal so teams might consider the sculptural opportunities which these views invite, or how the Antepavilion could have a visual presence by night.
Proposals for the competition are invited from architects, artists, designers, carpenters and makers. A hands-on engagement with the construction and craftsmanship of the pavilion is essential to the commission. It is therefore part of the brief that the winning design team will be engaged directly with the construction process. A persuasive realisation plan will also be an essential feature of the winning proposal.
Considerable importance will be attached to the contribution that the structure can make to the eclectic and disordant character of the adjacent rooftops as a test-bed for design innovation. Proposals should also engage with the potential that the site provides for a very visible local marker, which has vantage points from both the canal and surrounding streets.
BY FETTLE STUDIO
"At this time, around the 200th year of the opening of Regents Canal, this proposal draws its inspiration from this very special site for 2019. The site occupies a prominent rooftop position at the Columbia and Brunswick Wharf, and presents the unusual opportunity to greet long distance views along the canal, as well as short perpendicular views. Using handmade ceramic blocks set within a robust timber frame, this proposal creates a structural sculpture, a beacon, an indulgence in rich materiality. With scope for a long life ahead, the pavilion is able to accommodate and adapt to other purposes, such as a meeting space, a classroom or a stage."
BY LA ROI & SIMONE TCHONOVA
“Our proposal tries to link two sides and enter into a discussion. The pavilion takes its shapes from seven pontoons. Placed in a line, they create a long pier on which we can walk, sit and stay. With the movement of two hinges, the pavilion expands and retracts teasing both sides of the canal, bridging across to attract passersby. A canopy, spanning in between the steel structure unfolds as the elements move in different positions creating a covered Piazza over the water. The long pier should become a place of contemplation, discussion and a pavilion for distraction.” Studio Emile is Barbara Thüler, Charles Bédin and Elseline Bazin."
"Wembley Stadium’s iconic twin towers were controversially demolished in 2003, despite being Grade II listed, and consequently erased 79 years of British national history. Whilst this moment upset football fans globally, its demolition and subsequent burial within the artificial mounds at Northala Fields also raise concerning questions about Britain’s relationship to its imperial past.
Constructing Nations will symbolically rebuild one of the twin towers in an abstract form, with the interior performatively cleaned in a duality of care for a nation currently struggling to redefine its global position, whilst referencing the nation’s self-claimed exoneration from Imperial guilt. The overarching structure allows a number of programmatic possibilities to be contained within it, hinting at a potential productive process for the construction of a positive, post-colonial British identity."
BY IANDELLI IRVING
"Trojan Horse looks to confront our uncertain socio-political futures through the themes of legacy, waste and storage. It is a temporary monument for Columbia and Bruswick Wharf and a provocation for the imagination of potential futures. When intervening within the built environment we must consider the implications and influence on our collective future and how the next will readapt and continue the cycle of change.
Our proposal bases its present on that of its future, by expanding on ways in which it can be repurposed and re-altered. In the future, our structure will be retired to give place to new work, our structure will offer raw uncompromised store bought materials to be converted by future participants or the myriad of London based makers. The pavilion will be assembled entirely from standard size materials, which will be essentially unaltered and used as they are. This idea acts as a provocation to the possibility of future use. Alongside the production of practically zero waste, the heightened reduction of on site work and manual labour allows for more capital to be spent on raw materials to then be offered in succession."