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Coronavirus delays Tottenham Pavilion contest

Tottenham pavilion contest site (2)
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The organisers of a competition for a pavilion in Tottenham have extended its deadline and said the winning scheme will be built in 2021 instead of 2020 due to coronavirus

In an email to participants, the organisers said the winning pavilion design would be realised in 2021 rather than this June owing to the ‘high levels of community involvement’ involved in its construction.

The contest, open to architects, artists and innovators, seeks bold proposals for a £15,000-£30,000 structure that reflects the local area and could be constructed on the 365m² site of a former car park on the corner of Eade Road and Seven Sisters Road.

The project is backed by local architect Joe Wright, artist Carolina Khouri, and James West of West Creative. The winning concept will be self-built by volunteers and was originally planned to open as part of the London Festival of Architecture in June – now expected to be the peak month of the UK’s Covid-19 outbreak. 

The deadline for applications has also been extended to midnight on 8 April with the judging delayed and the winner and shortlist now due to be announced in May.

The email said: ‘The competition remains live, with an extended closing date. We have, however, decided to postpone the build phase of the project to 2021 due to the high levels of community involvement. The winning design will be the design we take forward to building in 2021 (subject to the transfer of finance raised and any new funding being achieved).

‘While this creates obvious challenges, it also creates opportunities. By delaying the building phase we are able to raise additional funds to those already achieved. We also want to expand the voluntary self-build programme to get more people involved and develop an even more ambitious programme of activity for the pavilion.’

The delay comes a month after the contest brief was redrawn following a backlash from several leading architects over its failure to include a design fee for the winning team.

It prompted an open letter signed by 23 leading architects – including Katy Marks of Citizens Design Bureau and Rory Harmer of Tate Harmer – which criticised the ‘exploitative and cynical’ procurement process.

Under the revised terms, shortlisted teams will each receive a £300 honorarium for their sketch submissions and all applicants will be invited to submit fee proposals for the £15,000-£30,000 structure. The organisers also promised to only proceed with construction if enough funds are raised to pay the winning team’s fee in full.

The organisers plan to exhibit the shortlisted and winning designs online.

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