Popping a Room on Top of a Theatre--Why?

hang over photo

Photo: architectsjournal

This one seems hard to figure... An architectural competition is being held to design and build a room on top of a theatre complex during the year of the Olympics, 2012.

According to the brief "The Room will offer a place of temporary withdrawal, a retreat from which guests can reflect on the problems and possibilities of urban 21st century life."

room one photo

Photo: architectural journal

The temporary, one bedroom structure will sit on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall roof at the theatre complex overlooking the Thames River. Two guests at a time will be able to spend a night there. In addition special visitors to the Olympics will also be offered a night. All visitors will be given a chance to share their visual and written experiences.

The view is sensational: tons of people frequent the river side area during the day and evening. The adjacent bridge is a sea of humanity walking back and forth. Not to mention the river, with boats moving along all day.

It's a chance for some blue sky, imaginary and visionary thinking. Apparently 500 architectural firms submitted proposals and it is down to a top-secret short list. The economics of the winning project are unclear, as is who pays and who gets to stay there.

la room photo

Photo: choices.co.uk

This modular structure is proposed as "a 'boundary' object, floating in neutral space between land and sky. Constructed using fiber reinforced polymer, the room has been designed in two modules, each four meters in width. The room transitions slowly between inside and out with a covered, open air terrace, and again inside where public and private spaces intersect."

The competition is a co-production between Living Architecture and Art Angel. Both are fascinating organizations. Living Architecture is non-profit organization that commissions new houses by famous architects and then rents them out to holiday-makers for about $250 a night.

glass house photo

Photo: architectsjournal

Located in some of the most gorgeous locations in Britain, the houses are stunning, built to the highest standards, with all the latest mod. con's and magnificent views. Their intentions are laudable; urging people to experience living in an architecturally designed space so that they will want to emulate it at home. The economics make no sense..the rent could not possibly cover the construction costs. But enjoy.

They have teamed up with Art Angel, a wonderful arts organization that commissions and produces projects by outstanding contemporary artists.

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