A Room for London, balanced on the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Hall roof

A Room for London

A one-room installation on the roof of Southbank in collaboration with artist Fiona Banner.

Designed in collaboration with Turner Prize-nominated artist Fiona Banner, the project was commissioned by Living Architecture and Artangel following an open international competition that attracted over five hundred entrants.

The Room is in the form of a boat, balanced on the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Hall roof, seemingly beached by the receding waters of the Thames below. Named ‘Roi des Belges,’ after the paddle steamer that Joseph Conrad captained up the Congo that inspired his novella Heart of Darkness, the craft is an invitation to travel through literature and one’s imagination. An extraordinary panoramic view of London, stretching from Big Ben in the west to St. Paul’s in the east, allows guests aboard to see the city in a new light.

During the 2012 Olympic year, the arts organisation Artangel invited musicians, writers and artists to take up residency and produce work related to the themes of the project. This led to performances aboard by David Byrne, Jarvis Cocker and Baaba Maal, and podcasts by Colm Tóibín, Michael Ondaatje and Jeanette Winterson.

‘A Room for London’ won D&AD, Designs of the Year, Condé Nast and New London awards in 2012 and RIBA London award in 2013.


Rooftop installation in collaboration with artist Fiona Banner
Open Competition


South Bank, London


Living Architecture in association with Artangel




Completed 2012

Design Team
David Kohn, Tom McGlynn, Liz Betterton, Saya Hakamata

Fiona Banner
Max Fordham LLP
Price & Myers
Boyden Group

RIBA London Award 2012
Condé Nast Design Award 2012
Designs of the Year 2012, Nominated
D&AD Yellow Pencil 2012, Nominated

Charles Hosea

In situ on top of Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s South Bank
The original 'Roi des Belges' paddlesteamer that Joseph Conrad piloted up the Congo in 1889
Exhibit at Design Museum, Designs of the Year 2012
North elevation
Side elevation
Bow view
Looking through the kitchen to the bedroom
Concentric circles: Mirror, porthole, London Eye, clock of Big Ben
Bespoke finishes and details
Octagonal lookout library