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PUP Architects, Antepavillon 2017, Jim Stephenson

House or Ventilation Duct: Antepavilion 2017

This artist’s studio in East London is the first in a planned series of artificial interventions in Hoxton Docks, located along Regent’s Canal. From 128 submissions, the jury chose a design by the young office PUP Architects. The competition’s organizers were looking for a design proposal that would involve alternative living models in the city. This is what made the experimental structure in the shape of a ventilation duct so convincing: the design exploits a legal loophole allowing that mechanical rooftop ventilation can be installed without a building permit.

The small house, which is clad with silver shingles of Tetra Pak, is sculptural yet functional at the same time. Moreover, the pavilion has engendered a discussion about the occupancy of city rooftops. The trick of disguising additional living space as a ventilation device could become a model for the future. After all, more living space is needed in London.

Ellis Woodman is director of the Architecture Foundation, which organized the competition. He hopes that the Antepavilion competition will develop into a meaningful architecture event and act as a springboard for the up-and-coming generation of architects.

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