The Architecture Foundation has named five finalists in its contest to design a £25,000 ‘beacon’ tower at Columbia and Brunswick Wharf in Hackney, north-east London
Shortlisted teams include a number of newly established London practices including Fettle Studio, which was set up last year by architect and ceramic artist Lydia Johnson, and Maich Swift Architects, which is headed by a pair of ex-Caruso St John employees.
They are joined by: MISC, which was founded by RCA students Alistair Napier and Nathan Quainoo; a collaboration between Matthijs La Roi and Simone Tchonova; and a submission by Lorenzo Iandelli and Jamie Gatty Irving.
The Antepavilion competition – now in its third year – invited 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 shortlist announcement comes five months after the winners of Antepavilion 2, Thomas Randall-Page and Benedetta Rogers, transformed a large disused barge into a floating inflatable theatre named AirDraft.
In its brief, the foundation stressed that the programme for this year’s Antepavilion was not set. ‘It could be a purely sculptural object, a signpost or watchtower or perform a more specific function … teams might consider the sculptural opportunities which these views invite, or how the Antepavilion could have a visual presence by night.
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 and clad in reversible Tetra Pak shingles.
The five finalists will now 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. The overall winner will receive a £10,000 prize along with £15,000 worth of materials and labour to deliver their scheme.