Millimetre was commissioned by Living Architecture as main contractor for the construction and installation of a Room for London. The brief was for the fabrication of a temporary boat like structure with a primary function as a one room hotel suite experience to sleep two people.
The ‘boat’ draws its origins from the fictional riverboat, ‘Le Roi de Belges’ in which Joseph Conrad's character navigates the Belgian Congo in his novel Heart of Darkness.
From the perspective of construction the structure presented unique challenges and issues, requiring meticulous attention to detail, engineering and finishing for the boat to be installed on its London rooftop location.
The final structure is perched on the roof of The Queen Elizabeth Hall at the London South Bank Centre, providing a unique art house hotel experience with views over Waterloo bridge and the surrounding London cityscape.
From the outset of the project millimetre worked closely with David Kohn Architects to develop their concept and translate this in a way that is sympathetic to both the desired aesthetic and the pragmatic requirements of the build. Millimetre undertook all 3D design work used to inform the design and fabrication of the steel substructure, hull form and interior elements.
A Room for London is designed to accommodate disabled users. It is fully integrated into the South Bank Centre security and fire alarm systems and the specification incorporates the latest high speed networking technology for the provision of a number of live internet broadcasts and art happenings in conjunction with creative partner Artangel.
Millimetre completed the build in 6 days meeting the deadline specified by the client. The first paying public guests stayed in the Room for London from early January 2012 and the ‘Le Roi de Belges’ will grace the London skyline for 2012 as part of the cultural Olympiad.
Photography: © Glasshopper