A riverboat, as you may have noticed, is temporarily perched above the Queen Elizabeth Hall on South Bank. The design was chosen from 500 submitted entries from artists and architects around the world. The winning artists turned out to be David Kohn and Fiona Banner. They designed their boat on the Roi des Belges, which novelist Joseph Conrad captained whilst in the Congo in 1890. This journey proceeded and is reflected in his famous work Heart of Darkness.
So, what it is exactly? It’s a one-room hotel (fully booked, as you’d imagine) perched up there in celebration of the Olympics.
Inside: “an en-suite double bedroom, kitchenette, library and viewing deck, guests are invited to rest and reflect upon what they see and hear during their one night stay; logging their thoughts, observing cloud patterns, the character of the river and deeper undercurrents,” says the Room for London website. “Each month a different writer will check into the Room and spend several days writing a new work, a reading of which will be recorded in the octagonal library and broadcast as one of twelve installments of A London Address. A different musician will stay in the space every month, ending their residency with a Sounds from a Room live performance that will be streamed to international audiences over the web.”
If you have time, listen to this mp3 link below. One of the series, it’s an interesting recording by Colombian novelist Juan Gabriel Vasquez, a great admirer of Joseph Conrad, a part of the series.