"We wanted to provoke a conversation about why, if you can build this type of strange plant equipment on the rooftop, why can we not use it in a more positive way, to inhabit and liberate all these hundreds of thousands of square metres of rooftop space?"
Architects, artists and designers are asked to propose work that engages with ideas around:
a) Innovative and alternative ways of living within the city, proposing new ways for urban dwelling; an idea that could resonate with existing concepts around Micro Dwelling.
b) An engagement with issues of sustainability and in particular the use of recycled and recyclable materials.
The winning design will receive sponsorship in the form of free issue materials, craftsmen and a small cash prize. It is intended that within this framework the winning design team will be engaged directly with the construction process. The installation will remain on display for up to two years and should be fast build, easily disassembled, light-weight and can be erected within a 40 sq m rooftop footprint.
Considerable importance will be attached to the aesthetic contribution that structures can make to a highly visible, eclectic, experimental urban environment. As an external work it can respond to the complex urban condition of the Columbia and Brunswick Wharf, a unique site that sits adjacent to the Regents Canal in Hackney.
The purpose of the project is to explore and encourage the range and complexity of work currently being produced across the disciplines of architecture design and fine art and particularly to support and promote the work and ideas of less established architects, emerging practices, artists or craftsmen.
Designed and built by upcoming architecture firm, PUP Architects, H-VAC was selected from 128 entries including 5 finalists as the winning proposal for the inaugural Antepavilion international competition. PUP worked with the clients and the Architecture foundation to realise the project in July and August 2017.
Clad in reversible Tetra-Pak shingles, H-VAC is a playful subversion of planning legislation, exploiting permitted development rights for rooftop plant to confront the habitation of rooftop space.
Covertly extrovert, the snaking linear form references the voluminous curved surfaces of rooftop ducting and air handling plant; primarily functional yet surprisingly sculptural. A shelter in disguise, the enlarged scale allows inhabitation and exploits its inaccessible location, concealing a rooftop garden.
The H-VAC project has been covered widely online and in print, featuring in over 20 different magazines and journals both in the UK and internationally. Below is a selection of the UK coverage: