In 2024 for the first time Antepavilion is moving from its original home of Hoxton Docks. The new site in Southwark is equally feted for its history of art displays: the former home of Stompie, the T-34 Tank that over 25 years made Old Kent Rd folklore. For the past year it has been the home of Skip House.
Antepavilion commission is open to everyone; no qualifications are required. We make available some specialist skills, particularly metalworking and structural engineering support, and for this year, professional archaeology advice. But the one overriding requirement is that entrants must be able to implement their proposal themselves.
The Stompie site is located 100m south-east of the Old Kent Rd flyover. The 0.03ha triangular site is bounded by Page’s Walk to the north-west and Mandela Way to the south and is in an Archaeological Priority Area. It currently comprises open ground covered in self-seeded vegetation and wildflowers and is surrounded by chain-link fencing. The site is flat and the surrounding pavement level lies c. 2.5m above Ordnance Datum (OD). The groundwater level and geological data will be found under ‘resources’, which will be added as they are compiled. The Skip House presently located in the centre of the site will be moved to the periphery and may be available to the winning entrants to provide site support/security during the build if required.
A mechanical excavator and operator will be available for the duration of the build if required. The size and capacity may be selected by the winner to suit the build requirements of the proposal.
Entrants will be expected to engage with the (uncertain) archeology of the site. They should provide for the safekeeping or, better still, integration of any finds in their proposal. A professional archaeologist will have carried out an initial investigation of the site before the winning team start work but that will be by way of a limited trench investigation and there may be other finds still to be uncovered.
The site does not have rich potential for finds of traditional archaeological interest although it is close to the locations of some Roman and pre-historic finds. It is adjacent to the important Roman road, Watling Street, of which Old Kent Rd is now part of. But for the purpose of a contemporary Earthwork otherwise valueless material such as fragments of old buildings might be usefully excavated and incorporated in the work. The site was formerly at the entrance to the Bricklayers Arms railway yard which provided important freight handling and locomotive maintenance facilities to the railways from the middle of the 19th to the middle of the 20th centuries. See ‘resources’ for further archaeology information.
As with previous Antepavilion briefs, re-use of materials is encouraged. In addition to any excavated building remnants that could be used in the winning proposal there are also available various materials reclaimed from previous Antepavilions, including structural steel and timbers. These will be presented to entrants at the open days and will be shown in the resources file.
Budget and Prize
The budget for the project is £25,000 which is split into a £10,000 prize fund and up to £15,000 worth of materials, equipment and labour. Teams are free to put a portion of the prize fund towards their construction budget. Carefully considered budgeting is an essential element of the Antepavilion Commission. The winning team will have access to machinery and craftsmen on-site and at nearby commercial workshops.
In recognition of some outstanding graphics among the entries in the last Antepavilion Commission (2021) a Razzle Dazzle prize fund of up to £1,500 for graphic quality is now an element of the competition. In this category, the buildability of proposals is not an essential feature.