A Room for London is a major collaboration between Living Architecture and Artangel, in association with Southbank Centre. Designed by David Kohn Architects in collaboration with Fiona Banner, it was the winning entry in an open competition to create a room on one of the most visible sites in the British capital, where up to two people at a time could spend a unique night in an exemplary architectural landmark.
They set out to create a visitor experience of dramatic contrast between public and private space: the familiar and domestic are all here, contained within this intimate structure, perched on one of London’s most public vantage points. Despite this, the visitors’ privacy is completely protected and it is they who are able to look out at London and the people below. A Room for London thus becomes an urban landmark for 2012.
Kohn and Banner’s design shows contemporary architecture at its most playful and thought-provoking. The structure is inspired by the riverboat captained by Joseph Conrad whilst in the Congo in 1890, a journey echoed in his most well-known work Heart of Darkness. The pyramidal steel mast makes reference to one of London’s architectural highlights, the spire of Hawksmoor’s Christ Church. The interior timber lined walls are reminiscent of boats of ‘old’, but have been boldly coloured magenta and turquoise. Bespoke furniture has been carefully integrated, including a centrepiece bed which slides on rails to make the most of the views over London. A pulldown ladder gives access to a small library room above the main space, where one can further absorb the views across London whilst completing the log book. Each aspect has been considered and crafted to produce a one-off, stimulating space.
A Room for London will be a visionary landmark for the city in its Olympic year, presenting an opportunity, for those in London and beyond, to celebrate and connect to the capital and its cultural past, present and future.
Artangel is producing a programme of writings, readings and live music webcasts created in A Room for London. The programme includes A London Address, a series of urban reflections by writers; Sounds from a Room, a sequence of live webcast performances by musicians from across the globe; and Ideas for London, a competition, in association with the Evening Standard, to discover Londoners’ most remarkable ideas for their city. This extraordinary variety of words, sounds and ideas will be featured on A Room for London’s website. The programme is part of the London 2012 Festival.
Start on site date: February 2011
Date of completion: December 2011
Gross internal floor area (M2): 47M2
Total cost: Confidential