A Room for London – The Whispering House \ Mjölk architekti

• February 18, 2011

The Whispering House by Czech architectural office mjölk architekti is one of the shortlisted design for the architectural competition “A Room for London” commissioned by Living Architecture.

Visibility and exposure are major character traits of the location on the roof of Queen Elizabeth Hall. The feature to present oneself to other people to built by this an interconnection between them and others is inherent in human nature.

Mjölk architekti

Whispering House Mjolk plusMOOD night 595x381 A Room for London   The Whispering House \ Mjölk architekti

A Room for London - The Whispering House, render courtesy Mjölk architekti

+ Project description by Mjölk architekti

Concept

Visibility and exposure are major character traits of the location on the roof of Queen Elizabeth Hall. The feature to present oneself to other people to built by this an interconnection between them and others is inherent in human nature.

Whispering House Mjolk plusMOOD 2 595x396 A Room for London   The Whispering House \ Mjölk architekti

A Room for London - The Whispering House, render courtesy Mjölk architekti

But with the developement of societies and ongoing civilization also grows also the need for privacy. In this area of conflict of opposed needs are placed the individuals of a society. Aim of the design is to predefine the position of the inhabitants of the hotelroom without grossly unveiling there private sphere. They are so offered the possibility of experiencing an enhanced visibility during their stay. For the body/community of the city, londoners arise insights into other people’s every day life. Which is, despite it’s ordinaryness usually of great interest. You compare and find out common habits. And despite physical seperateness forms a contact akin to that between an actor on stage who puts parts of himself into the role and the audience. A commutation takes place between the two, even if the audience stays hidden to the actor. Above the physical design of the dwelling unit this immaterial stress field between the protagonists is formed.

Whispering House Mjolk plusMOOD 3 595x395 A Room for London   The Whispering House \ Mjölk architekti

A Room for London - The Whispering House, render courtesy Mjölk architekti

At night, when the material inhabitants of the hotel room retire to privacy and become invisible to the outside world, another group of protagonists takes over the occupancy of the room. Ghostly light outlines, invisible in daylight and then only noticable by their whispering bits of bygone conversations into the inhabitan’s ears start to wander around the house when it gets dark and influence by their play of structures and colours the mood of the inhabitants. When the inhabitants have retired, the shilouettes start reliving their day but in perfect innocence of rules of physics or logic. These ghostly silhouettes can be observed by Londoners in large distances.

Private spaces to retire can be created by the inhabitants of the hotelroom by means of blinds, pulled up from floor level. Is the dweller agreeable, sequences of his life in the flat are recorded on film and audio track. After some time, the collection of audio tracks is growing. Random outtakes can be replayed to future occupants of the room. They make aware of the fast changing, large number of inhabitants in a hotel room. The filmed people are shown as light shilouettes as soon as it starts to get dark and until daylight is reached again. They are displayed randomly and in a modified way. By modification we understand for example multiplication, repetition, suspension or contortion.

Whispering House Mjolk plusMOOD floor plans 595x533 A Room for London   The Whispering House \ Mjölk architekti

A Room for London - The Whispering House - Floor plans, drawing courtesy Mjölk architekti

Whispering House Mjolk plusMOOD section 595x207 A Room for London   The Whispering House \ Mjölk architekti

A Room for London - The Whispering House - Section, drawing courtesy Mjölk architekti

Description of the building

The building is entered via a disabled ramp to the main entrance at the backside of the building. The building therefore is first taken in by its backward construction that resembles of classic large rooftop billboards. Entering the hall, the new inhabitant for the first time gets aware of the great view over London the apartment offers to him. He takes in the plywood walls with white scumbled finish and the fine plywood flooring. In this light showcase are put some affordable bits of fine perhaps reused furniture like exhibits. To his right, he finds the toilet that pays due to needs of disabled people, an area that can be visibly protected from the outside. To the left is situated the scissor lift which serves as lift to the upper floor. It is followed by a large pull-out wardrobe.

Behind it, a little fridge with table completes the dining area which is dominated by a 3,25m long dining table. Next to it starts the living area. It is equipped with an expansive sofa and a library where you can borrow and also add favourite books about London. All the area is to the north glazed from floor to ceiling and therefore offers a great panoramic view of the city. Reaching the upper floor by the elevator an eight square metres balcony that is open towards north and south is found. In the other direction, the inhabitant finds a toilet room followed by another large pull-out wardrobe. Behind it, the bathroom is located with a free-standing tub. It is followed by the sleeping area from which you have eyesight to the house-high living area below. Both Bathroom and sleeping are can either provide a panoramic view over the city or can be shut from insight by means of blinds that are pulled upwards from the floor level as high as wished by the occupant of the room.

Whispering House Mjolk plusMOOD construction 595x266 A Room for London   The Whispering House \ Mjölk architekti

A Room for London - The Whispering House, construction diagram courtesy Mjölk architekti

The construction

The proposed volume could be abstracted into a box of the basic dimensions 20.00 x 6.66 x 2.50 meters.

The paramount construction is considered as an outdoor temporary aluminium truss system. Such method; generally known from temporary roofing, rigging towers, stages roof and floor trusses and retail displays; would implement its purpose without sacrificing strength and stability. The actual price and possibilities of transport would be at affordable stance. The essential structure is being articulated by the ten truss frames of Æ shape. The proposed framework seating reflects entirely the Queen Elizabeth Hall’s reinforced concrete structure that bears the whole roof. So when the front leg of the frame is restrained precisely on the nearest load bearing-wall to the roof’s edge, the rear leg is held by displaceable system weights again on another parallel bearing wall. The entrance pathway considered as disabled ramp will be also part of above mentioned scaffolding system.

The actual wall of the proposed ‘hollow billboard’ will be fabricated from the softwood stud walling cast by waterproofed plywood. It is extremely important to design the wooden inset in the lightest version possible. The same attitude would apply for the front glazing. This transparent front side, facing the south bank of the Thames River, is assembled from the 16 system double glazing panes. The loggia located on the north-east part of the 2nd floor is provided with diagonal stainless steel net.

Our team is ready to cooperate with Price Myers consulting engineers as well as with highly experienced aluminium truss system Milos Structural Systems. The proposed framework had been open-eyed discussed and calculated with British standards educated structural engineer.

Whispering House Mjolk plusMOOD diagram 595x513 A Room for London   The Whispering House \ Mjölk architekti

A Room for London - The Whispering House, diagram courtesy Mjölk architekti

24h concept

The 24h concept can mainly be split up into three phases.

The daylight phase starts at full daylight. The northern facade is transparent in nearly all its parts, according to the spirit of the inhabitant. It reveals its interior and its inhabitants in their everyday life. At the same time, it provides the occupants with great panoramic views over daylight-London and the people on the streets below.

Eventually, long- established Londoners watch the occupants of the roof-flat standing at the windows, pointing to this and that and regain themselves a fresh interest in their city.

A transitional phase follows where it is neither completely light nor dark. Most likely, the occupants are still up and about. As it gets darker, the ghost outlines of former inhabitants of the hotel room that before only made themselves recognizable by occasionally whispering to the present occupants become visible and influence the atmosphere with their play of light and colours.

In the evening hours, an elderly couple shares the large sofa, enjoying the by now large collection of favour ite books on London when a couple of mild silhouettes starts slowly dancing to inaudible music. The reading couple finds this a good idea and joins in. The silhouettes grow gradually and turn into birds. Then disappear.

When the habitants of the hotel room finally turn down the lights, go to bed or leave the building, their echo-time shifted outlines join the other ghost to relive the past days in a playful, dreamy and abstract way. They can be observed by Londoners to a great distance.

While the occupant of the room, a businessman from Chicago meets his English colleagues for a dinner in Hoxton, the silhouettes of former parties held in the apartment take over. They jump on the table and in the tub, grow large heads and lead conversations floating two metres above the sofa.

With beginning sunrise, the transitional sequence repeats itself in the opposite direction. The ghostly outlines
slowly fade and hand over the apartment to the people.

+ All images and drawings courtesy Mjölk architekti

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Category: Architecture, Hotel

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