It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...A Room For London. Last year there was an architectural competition to design and build a hotel room that would be plunked on top of a building for the duration of the year of the London Olympics, 2012.
A boat-shaped structure, inspired by an African steamship, won and now it has just been installed on the roof of a theatre complex for the next year. But who will stay in it?
That's the interesting part. Members of the public can apply to stay for a night--and they have. It is already completely booked up. But there is also a competition, Ideas for London, where people with the most inspirational and original ideas can spend a night together too.
The competition is a call for innovative ideas relating to technology, the environment, social good and everything in between. One winner will be announced each month during 2012, and invited to stay overnight in A Room for London, developing their idea with a number of influential guests.
The first winner has a proposal to tackle London's homelessness. There are 40,000 empty houses in London which is 2% of the housing stock. Under this scheme, people who do community work would be eligible to occupy the empty houses in return for acting as a sort of security guard for the property.
The second winning proposal by the Young Foundation, is one to encourage high school graduates to spend time working on solving social problems in London instead of taking gap years in Africa or India. The organization wants to "nurture a new wave of young people who are inspired and equipped to take on society’s most pressing issues from positions of leadership."
As for the boat itself, it will have an open-plan living area, a small kitchen and library with a viewing deck upstairs. All the better to see the spectacular vista of the Thames River. A flag will be raised when the resident is there. There is a small wind turbine on the top of the mast. Inspired by a ship sailed by Joseph Conrad up the Congo in 1871, there are nautical details throughout.