Redbridge pupils shortlisted in competition to design Olympic Park pavilion

Antonia Arbova and Dhara Zaveri presenting their design for the People's Pavilion competition, stood in front of a whiteboard

Antonia Arbova and Dhara Zaveri make up one of nine teams shortlisted for the People's Pavilion competition. - Credit: Antonia Arbova

Two Redbridge pupils have been shortlisted in a competition to design a pavilion in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 

Antonia Arbova and Dhara Zaveri make up a team taking part in the People’s Pavilion competition, which invited young east Londoners to design a pavilion under the guidance of industry professionals.

The winning design will be built at Here East technology campus this August, with the victorious team working alongside engineers and architects to realise their vision. 

Antonia, 18, who attends Ursuline Academy Ilford, said: “If we get to win that would be amazing. It would be really nice to see our work be made in person, so you can actually interact with it.” 

Dhara, 15, from Woodford County High School for Girls, said: “It’s the first time I’ve done something like this, so to have our work shown and potentially built is very exciting."

Cardboard pavilion mock-up design

If the Redbridge pair win the competition, their design will be built at Here East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. - Credit: Antonia Arbova

Having been put together as a Redbridge team, the pair developed a nature-inspired concept which they presented to a panel of businesspeople, architects, and engineers. 

Antonia described meeting experts and learning from their experience as a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. 

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“They’ve all been lovely, they’ve all offered me advice and extra experiences if I want to take them,” she added.

Dhara said that the experts had helped them make their design more realistic, having initially considered a five storey structure for their pavilion. 

The pair’s final design drew inspiration from the natural world, specifically the structure of the beehive. 

They propose to build three hexagonal pods, the biggest of which would be used as a place for people to eat and drink outdoors, while the two smaller pods would provide space for stalls and sunbathers.

Architectural mock-up for a pavilion design

The Redbridge team was inspired by the hexagonal structures in beehives. - Credit: Antonia Arbova

They have also put in place measures for people with disabilities in their concept. 

The designs will be exhibited for the next two weeks at Here East as part of the London Festival of Architecture, with visitors invited to cast a vote for their favourite design. 

On June 30, the young designers will find out whether their entry has been chosen to be built, with the winner receiving a £2,000 prize. 

Next year Antonia will study design at Lancaster University, but said architecture is still a possible career path, while Dhara hopes to become an engineer after completing her A-Levels.

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