A Room for London by David Kohn
and Fiona Banner

| 16 comments

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner

A boat-like structure temporarily anchored to the roof of London’s Southbank Centre is in fact a rentable one-bedroom apartment by London architect David Kohn and artist Fiona Banner.

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner

Completed following a design competition instigated by Living Architecture and arts organisation Artangel, A Room for London will remain atop the Queen Elizabeth Hall until the end of the year.

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner

The apartment was modelled on a riverboat that travelled to the Congo in the nineteenth century and features a pyramidal steel mast.

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner

Magenta and turquoise-stained wood lines the interior, where bespoke furniture includes a bed that slides on rails and a combined sofa and bookshelf.

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner

A pull-down ladder leads up to a first-floor library, which contains a logbook where guests can note any observations from their stay.

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner

Living Architecture have commissioned a series of holiday homes from renowned architects - you can see more of their projects here, including the early designs for this project.

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner

Photography is by Charles Hosea.

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner

The following text is from Living Architecture:


A Room for London

Sell out architectural installation on South Bank opens January 2012.

A Room for London is a one-bedroom installation available to rent throughout 2012, and a programme of extraordinary events. The initial bookings for a night in this remarkable architectural space sold out within minutes when they went live in September. The second tranche of bookings (for nights July – Dec 2012) go on sale on 19 January 2012.

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner

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.

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner

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.

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner

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 inte- rior 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 by David Kohn and Fiona Banner

A Room for London will be a visionary land- mark 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.

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner

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.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    I'd be fun to rent it with a couple of friends, so you could spend all day interpreting scenes from Jaws :)

  • Chris

    Quirky

  • Johan

    "Kohn and Banner’s design shows contemporary architecture at its most playful and thought-provoking. "
    "A Room for London will be a visionary land- mark 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."

    Seriously?! It is just a boat!

  • http://www.moejlijk.nl Jap

    That's Mary Poppins!

  • e1o27

    i was astonished when this won the competition and still can't see how this is remotely a bonifide architectural idea…

  • e1o27

    sorry, i was over-reacting there… It's just a boat. On a building. That's fine.

  • threealpha

    A boat on a building by the river, how low can your expectations be in terms of an architectural idea?! Literal and not worth the effort to build. E1027 you were not over-reaching.. I was also expecting to see at least some of the nice details that you can acheive in the interior of a structure like a boat… pity.

  • pic

    Has anyone seen the sort-listed entries?
    There are too many projects published out there, but nothing official…
    According to the organizers there should be 5 shortlisted entries.
    Where are they??????

  • The Guy Opposite

    Threealpha…..
    I think you are being a bit harsh….. it’s a boat on a building … super cool.
    I just hope it doesn’t fall into the river….as I don’t think it will float….

  • shocked

    I dont think this could be more literal, and thus infantile in conception and detailing. Apparently columnists remarking on its nautical elements missed the entire modern movement, the work of Corbusier, and about 80 years of architecture that thankfully went a touch deeper than making a boat like room, or a room like a boat.
    Just the worst piece of nonsense possible.
    It belongs in an amusement park, NOT on a design site devoted to architecture.

  • http://twitter.com/WalnutGrey @WalnutGrey

    A room for London is a great concept but there is nothing endearing about this boat structure. From an aesthetic viewpoint, it's pretty awful, both inside & out.

  • marccin

    This is what you get when an artist tries to play architect–
    stuff that can pass as profound in a gallery just doesnt cut it in the real world.

    Does your stay come with a happy meal, or is that extra?

  • noctus69

    Really thought provoking…. its obtuse and oversimplified… yet another "building" pandering to the intellect of the masses…. Obvious, simplistic, formalistic, and stunted… and the wind generator is just strange, with a pseudo harry potter aesthetic constructivist approach…. Saying the designers were on acid, would be insulting to hippies, I would say they had stunded development at kindergarten, bring on the crayons…..

    Absolutely daft.

  • slim

    Another contrived project from a self-styled 'creative' architect. Kohn is one of a swathe of pseudo-art historians who tediously claim their work to be 'deeply rooted' in history. Let's just for a moment analyse with pragmatism the product: a certain type of boat – once built to the highest of standards by ship-builders – has been cribbed, botched together, and finished in blood-orange paneling; quite frankly it's embarrassing.

  • arch

    Many of you dream about having constructed something like this

  • maarcin

    No actually, none of dream about constructing anything even remotely like this.
    We would be embaressed and ashamed.

    The worst part is the ridiculous attempts to claim meaning in it by referencing everything and everyone from Conrad, to Sloane, to Hawksmoor, to Richard Rogers, in an attempt to justify its banality and pretend it is more than what it is:
    the result of a very mediocre architect and artist.