What better way to see the city on a humid June evening than by boat? Thanks to David Kohn (David Kohn Architects) our group had a river-eye’s view of public areas, some in waiting, that make us think differently about one of London’s biggest assets – the Thames.
As our MBNA Clipper approached at Blackfriars Pier David explained that we’re not always sure what our relationship is with the river. Past developments have turned their back on it (and ‘sometimes it’s used as a dustbin’). When we arrive by boat, do we discover a river room?
If you don’t know the name, you’ll know the work: DKA received a RIBA London Award for A Room for London, the houseboat/hotel where, for one night only, you’d have a panoramic look out, as well as a billet.
Our ‘rooms’ for this evening included Queenhithe, London’s oldest dock ; Sayes Court Garden on the site of the abandoned setting of John Evelyn’s ruined manor house ; a nod to the close-by Deptford, where DKA contributed to a charette made up of 5 ‘rooms’ along the Creek ; then passing the Royal Naval College before our final destination of North Greenwich Pier ( hello, Quantum Cloud).
Much of the pleasure of this was the conversations along the way though these were made easier when continued after the voyage not just by the welcome drinks on the terrace at Craft London ( another ‘river room’ with views to the Thames Barrier ) but also once we were away from the noise of the outboard motor-powered clipper.
Thank you David, and Louis, for the opportunity to enjoy this. To open a window on these rooms for yourself see : http://davidkohn.co.uk/projects/river-rooms