Design Initiatives, an innovative, award-winning architecture practice based in Los Angeles, California and Sofia, Bulgaria, shared with us their proposal for A Room for London, a competition for a temporary demountable hotel room for up to two guests on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London during the Olympic year of 2012. Designed as a boundary structure floating in space between ground and sky, their proposal employs the dialectical contrast of active OR passive. More images and architect’s description after the break.
Escape from noisy / busy / dynamic / active city TO noiseless / quiet / still / calm / peaceful / passive retreat – an isolated “island” to relax / sleep among city of insomnia. Our ROOM connects to 21st century urban life through contemplation / withdrawal. We suggest the replacement of “live” by “overlook / contemplate”. A Room for London plays an ambiguous role: it is a focal point / flagship / visible object to look at AND in the same time its guests can view / overlook / contemplate the British capital.
The hotel room is occupied mostly at night and how it functions at night is the most critical. It hosts different experiences, responds to changing moods and has to be many-sided. The short stay in a hotel room gives it a sense of motion.
We propose a natural / biomorphic / sheltering “eggshell” to land on top of unnatural / angular / brutalist / dark concrete / existing concert hall. Our ROOM is designed in 2 modules to ease the transportation and installation process. Each module is 4m wide to fit on flat-bed truck. The structure will sit on top of the existing building which drives the use of lightweight but durable material like FRP [Fiber Reinforced Polymer]. Mechanical equipment goes in the attic space on top of the bathroom.
Our project provides gradation from the enclosed room through transitional space [between in and out, suitable for London climate] of covered patio / terrace to open air rooftop. We apply the same concept of gradation from enclosed to open also in the bathroom. We stimulate the development of certain habits like dining or working on the computer while lying in bed by combining bed / sofa / desk / coffee table / bedside table / shelf into all-in-one hybrid furniture piece. The guests of the ROOM can manipulate the light by playing with the secondary skin / light filter.
Architect: Design Initiatives
Credits: Vlado Valkof – project architect, Anne Valkof, Ulysses Carmona – designers, Ivan Dimov, Oleg Topalov – 3D visualization
Location: roof of Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London, England
Date: November, 2010
Client: Living Architecture, Artangel, Southbank Centre
Area: 45 sq. m.