julian king architect: a room for london julian king architect: a room for london
feb 05, 2011

julian king architect: a room for london

‘a room for london’ by julian king architect, london england images courtesy of julian king architect

new york based studio, julian king architect, has submitted a proposal for living architecture’s ‘a room for london’ competition. the winning design, which will be announced in february, will be temporarily located on the roof of the queen elizabeth hall throughout the year of the 2012 olympic games.

the spherical structure, 7 meters in diameter, encases a room of 42 square meters that will sit perched above the skyline of london, overlooking some of the city’s most well-known sites.

the clear polycarbonate shell, joined by aluminum rings that divide the sphere into the four meridians of the world, is coated with photo-voltaic cells. the solidified drops of silicone on a transparent film replicate the continents of earth and provides the room with all of the energy it requires. LED lights on the interior give the structure an ethereal glow at night.

site plan

(left) plan (right) section

inside, a central core defines the programmatic functions of the unit. a 180 degree sofa wraps around the shaft, stopping where it meets a queen sized bed that overlooks a roof top garden to the south. a bathroom and storage space consume the void, leaving only low and unobtrusive elements exposed.

a slightly slopped ramp leads to and from the structure, connecting the room with an open terrace and the entrance to the queen elizabeth hall. a rooftop garden consumes the previously concrete surface, further distancing the globe-like unit from the urban dwelling in which it exists.


during the design  process, this poem – an excerpt from tennyson – influenced the development:

‘much have I seen and known; cities of men and manners, climates, councils, governments, myself not least, but honour’d of them all; and drunk delight of battle with my peers, far on the ringing plains of windy troy.

I am a part of all that I have met;

…and this gray spirit yearning in desire to follow knowledge like a sinking star, beyond the utmost bound of human thought… most blameless is he, centered in the sphere of common duties…

the long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep moans round with many voices. come my friends,

’tis not too late to seek a newer world.’

  • fantastik

    kelkeminus says:
  • i would have liked to see the etching make it look like the moon not the earth

    @helenschmelen says:
  • But that’s the whole point isn’t it?
    To see the world, our planet, with some perspective
    ….and awe.

    Cmyk says:
  • 42m2 is impossible in an sphere of 7 meters in diameter!

    Adfer says:
  • Obviously it’s rounded up/down-probably something like 7.2m in diameter. (What a pointless comment)

    This is is a really interesting project. The temporary hotel room concept is expanded to include the entire planet, and our temporary stay here. Love the poem.
    I hope it’s not too late.

    brooks says:
  • extreme cool

    london take this says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news