A Room for London

Living Architecture's newest project: a 'boat' perched, as if by retreating floodwaters, on the very edge of the Queen Elizabeth Hall... The building, designed by David Kohn Architects and artist Fiona Banner, is intended to offer guests a place of refuge and reflection amidst the flow of traffic at this iconic location in the capital. The lower and upper decks offer extraordinary views, by day and night, of a London panorama that stretches from Big Ben to St Paul's cathedral. Inside, the boat is a beautifully crafted timber object, full of nooks and crannies to explore. On arrival 'aboard', a nautical flag will be raised to signal occupation, with the visitors invited to fill in a logbook on the 'bridge' of the boat, detailing what they have experienced during their stay, out of the window as much as within themselves. This is contemporary architecture at its most playful, beguiling and thought-provoking.

from here

One of my favorite essayists, Alain de Button, author of The Architecture of Happiness, is the brains behind Living Architecture. He always says it just right:

"I met a lot of people in the property business, and asked them why they did what they did... They said it was to make money. I said, 'Don't you want to do something else? Build better buildings?' Their idea of doing something better for society was to give money to the opera."

from the New Yorker, April 11, 2011

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