Potemkin Theatre: a rooftop theatre


It’s the third year of the Antepavilion! For 2019, Maich Swift Architects designed a canal-side, wooden rooftop theatre at Columbia and Brunswick Wharf in east London.

Chosen from 188 entries, the Potemkin Theatre was the winner of the competition run by Shiva Ltd in collaboration with the Architecture Foundation.

This year’s Antepavilion, named as Potemkin Theatre, is a three-storey rooftop theatre designed by architects Paul Maich and Ted Swift (of Maich Swift). The idea behind the design came from the Jacques Tati’s 1958 film Mon Oncle and Potemkin Theatre was inspired by the home of Monsieur Hulot.

Built over 25 days during June and July by volunteers, the structure employs a ‘laminated veneer lumber structural frame’ paired with ‘a façade of painted canvas panels’.

AKTII is proud to have worked with Maich Swift Architects on the structural strategy and connection details for the 2019 Antepavilion

‘The structure of the pavilion was developed over many conversations with the architects, leading to a form strongly inspired by traditional platform timber frame construction and fixings. Throughout this process, we strove to find a solution that balanced speed and ease of construction, modularity and affordability, while keeping the elegance of the winning design.

For this reason, the concept relies on prefabricated engineered timber products and customised standard timber details in keeping with the context. Considering the slenderness of the building and the exposed nature of the site, the main structural challenge was to derive a robust stability system that could resist high wind loads along the short elevation, with minimum impact on the initial concept.’

Find out more about the Antepavilion, here: http://antepavilion.org/