PUP Architects, London, 2017


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  • Cladding detail    
  • Lower stair    
  • HVAC interior    
  • HVAC interior    
  • HVAC interior    
  • HVAC cladding    
  • HVAC plan    
  • HVAC roof plan    
  • Competition model    
  • Structural model    
  • Structural model    
  • roof top view montage    
  • Exploded construction Axo    
  • HVAC components drawing    

A temporary pavilion disguised as an air handling duct on the rooftop of a warehouse in Hackney, London.

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. The pavilion is located on the roof of a block of artists studios by Regents Canal in Hackney, London.

Clad in shingles made from recycled peach iced tea drinks carton packaging, H-VAC is a playful subversion of planning legislation, questioning 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.

Whilst permitted development exists for large scale infrastructural roof installations- seen throughout the city, little challenge has been made for other viable and productive uses for rooftops. By subverting the form of the permitted and giving it a non-standard use, we hope to bring into question this order of priorities.

Internally the pavilion includes a small room two stories up with two comfortable benches designed for up to 6 people to sit and talk or work enjoying the elevated position above the canal. The pavilion extends the mix of artists studios and event spaces in the warehouses below and offers a retreat high-up on the rooftops. A hung stair connects the pavilion to the studios below. Visitors can access the pavilion secretly from below climbing up inside without having to access the open rooftop itself.

The cladding shingles are cut from drinks carton packaging printed roll which was diverted from shredding from a drinks manufacturer. If a company has a surplus after an order or is running a test print it is common for tonnes of the material to go unused.

The shingles are folded in on themselves to protect the cut edges from de-laminating when wet, exposing the waterproof foil surface on both faces.

We first tested this cladding system on a project we built with a team of students in 2013 in Latvia. Having survived four winters through heavy snow and sunshine, the project is still standing today and looks good as new. The success of the system has led us to search for a project on which to develop the idea further. This pavilion was the perfect opportunity to test the idea in London.


  • Begun: Jun 2017
  • Completed: Aug 2017
  • Floor area: 15m2
  • Sectors: Arts and culture, Industrial, Residential
  • Total cost: £25,000
  • Tender date: Apr 2017
  • Address: Hoxton Docks, London, United Kingdom

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