"Why is there a boat on top of the Southbank Centre?"

I've asked myself that very question at least five times this year, but due to my poor memory and a phone that seems to find 3G technology quite tiring, It was only until recently that I found my answer. However, the bittersweet thing about unearthing information surrounding its presence was finding out that the project was almost over. Damn you, memory!

I'm sure many of you will laugh at my ignorance towards its existence and purpose, but for those of you in the same boat as me (apologies for the pun), consider this your wake-up call.


Brief Rundown:

To celebrate the Olympic year of 2012, Living Architecture decided to commission a temporary building for the capital. The one-bedroom boat, the Roi des Belges, by David Kohn Architects in collaboration with Fiona Banner was picked as the winner in an open competition run by Living Architecture and Artangel, in association with the Southbank Centre. Five hundred architects and artists from around the world submitted entries. The competition guidelines asked for a building that would allow guests to spend a truly unique night perched above the river and the judges were profoundly impressed by the imagination and skill with which the brief was interpreted by the winning team.

Besides being one of the greatest apartments of all time, the boat has also been used as a temporary venue, housing a programme of readings, performances, podcasts and a killer project called 'Sounds from a Room'.

'Sounds from a Room' is perhaps the most exciting aspect of the project, as they invited some of the world's most exciting artists to record a session on the boat, and streamed it live! Jarvis Cocker, Amadou & Mariam, Imogen Heap and many more took part in this incredible series of live music, but it's not over yet!


Upcoming Events:

  • November 22nd: Charlie Fink (from Noah and the Whale) - 8pm (Streamed live via large screen at the Level 5 Function Room at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre - or online here)
  • December 5th: Stornoway - 6pm (Streamed live via large screen at the Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre - or online here)

We throughly recommend checking out those events (especially Charlie Fink) and diving into their website to see all the sessions from this year.

For more information on the Sounds From A Room project head over to aroomforlondon.co.uk, but before you do that, we think you should check out some of our favourite sessions from this year: