Dezeen Magazine

Antepavilion at Hoxton Docks

Antepavilion competition returns for 2024 in new location

Architecture contest Antepavilion will return to London this year in a new location, following a two-year hiatus caused by a dispute with Hackney Council.

This year's winning Antepavilion structure will be built on a plot in Southwark, rather than at its original warehouse site in Hoxton Docks where previous years' structures were installed.

The change of location comes after the council restricted the use of the warehouse, requiring Shiva – the organiser and sponsor of the arts charity Antepavilion – to obtain planning permission for any new structures to be built on the site.

However, the organisers said this made it impossible for Hoxton Docks to continue as the host of the Antepavilion, leading it to change locations.

New site selected for its history of art displays

Antepavilion has stated that the new site, south-east of the Old Kent Road Flyover in Southwark, is "feted for its history of art displays", including the Mandela Way T-34 Tank, otherwise known as Stompie.

The architecture contest was launched in 2017 as an annual competition for temporary structures that challenge planning constraints. It was postponed indefinitely in 2022 due to ongoing disputes with Hackney Council that began in 2019.

In 2019, the council issued an enforcement notice to Shiva demanding the removal of four unauthorised Antepavilion structures. A second notice was issued in 2020 to prevent the building from being used as an art venue and demanded the removal of all artwork from the site.

In addition to this, a "sinister" police raid on the Hoxton Docks building in June 2021 saw the arrest of several Antepavilion staff. In 2022, this was ruled unlawful by the High Court.

Hackney Council planning inspector Luke Perkins later quashed the second of the enforcement notices and granted retrospective planning permission for the site's change of use.

However, he simultaneously reinstated the initial enforcement. In an amended form, he said he had "no power to direct that future art installations displayed externally do not require permission in their own right".

This year's winners to be revealed in April

Now returning for its sixth year, Antepavilion has issued a brief for 2024 called Earthwork, which it has said is open to interpretation.

Among the few requirements are an expectation "to engage with the (uncertain) archaeology of the site" and design for re-use, Antepavilion said. The budget for the project is £25,000, which includes the prize fund as well as construction costs.

The closing date for entries is 15 March and winners will be revealed on 5 April.

The last competition, held in 2021, was won by The Antechamber by Studio Nima Sardar – a collapsible camera obscure – and followed a bamboo tensegrity structure by Project Bunny Rabbit, which was built as a "special early summer commission".

Previous winning structures have included the duct-shaped HVAC pavilion, the inflatable AirDraft barge and a series of fibreglass sharks.

Architecture Foundation was the original partner for the Antepavilion competition, but it pulled out in January 2021 following the aforementioned legal wrangles.

The photography is by Jim Stephenson.