White Villa

type: hospitality

location: any site

date: November, 2010

status: competition

client: “A Room for London”- Living Architecture, Artangel, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London

area: 45 sq. m.

credits: Vlado Valkof – project architect; Ulysses Carmona – designer; Ivan Dimov, Oleg Topalov – visualizations

“A Room for London” is a competition for temporary demountable hotel room for up to two guests on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London during the Olympic year of 2012.

It is a boundary structure floating in space between ground and sky. Our proposal employs the dialectical contrast of active OR passive. Escape from noisy / busy / dynamic / active city TO noiseless / quiet / still / calm / peaceful / passive retreat – an isolated “island” to relax / sleep among city of insomnia. Our ROOM connects to 21st century urban life through contemplation / withdrawal. We suggest the replacement of “live” by “overlook / contemplate”. A Room for London plays an ambiguous role: it is a focal point/flagship / visible object to look at AND at the same time its guests can view/overlook/contemplate the British capital.

Hotel room is occupied mostly at night and is critical how it functions at night. It hosts different experiences, responds to changing moods, and has to be many-sided. The short stay in a hotel room gives it a sense of motion.

We propose a natural / biomorphic / sheltering “eggshell” to land on top of unnatural / angular / brutalist / dark concrete / existing concert hall. Our ROOM is designed in 2 modules to ease the transportation and installation process. Each module is 4m wide to fit on a flatbed truck. The structure will sit on top of existing building which drives the use of lightweight but durable material like FRP [Fiber Reinforced Polymer]. Mechanical equipment goes into attic space on top of the bathroom.

Our project provides gradation from enclosed room through transitional space [between in and out, suitable for London climate] of covered patio/terrace to open-air rooftop. We apply the same concept of gradation from enclosed to open also in the bathroom. We stimulate the development of certain habits like dining or working on computer while lying in bed by combining bed/sofa/desk/coffee table/bedside table/shelf into an all-in-one hybrid furniture piece. The guests of the ROOM can manipulate the light by playing with the secondary skin/light filter.