The Architecture Foundation has launched an international contest for a £25,000 ‘beacon’ tower at Columbia and Brunswick Wharf in Hackney, north-east London
The anonymous competition – now in its third year – invites artists, architects, designers and makers to draw up radical visions for a prominent ‘beacon’ or spire to occupy the roof of the Grade II-listed Hoxton Docks complex on the Regent’s Canal.
The £25,000 project, backed by historic regeneration specialist Shiva, will transform the north-westernmost roof corner into a signpost for the wharf’s ‘alternative educational and experimental ethos’.
The call for entries comes four months after the winners of the second commission, Thomas Randall-Page and Benedetta Rogers, transformed a large disused barge into a floating inflatable theatre named AirDraft.
In its brief, the foundation stresses that 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.
‘Considerable importance will be attached to the contribution that the structure can make to the eclectic and random 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.’
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 and are now known as Hoxton Docks. The two buildings, at 53-55 Laburnum Street, overlook Haggerston Baths and BDP’s 2008 Bridge Academy.
The winners of last year’s Antepavilion 2 Commission created an inflatable performance space from a disused barge moored outside Hoxton Docks on the south side of the canal opposite the towpath.
PUP Architects won 2017’s inaugural Antepavilion commission with H-VAC – a micro-dwelling camouflaged as mechanical plant clad in reversible Tetra Pak shingles.
Applications for the latest commission should include two A3-sized boards. A judging panel will be announced shortly and site tours will be held on 12 January, 25 January, and 3 February.
Up to five shortlisted teams will each receive a share of a £3,000 fund and work with structural engineer AKT II to develop their scheme’s realisation and construction strategy during the competition’s second phase.
The overall winner will receive a £10,000 prize along with £15,000 worth of materials and labour to deliver their scheme.
The deadline for applications is 9am, 11 February.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information
55 Laburnum Street
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7378 0707
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7378 0404