words Claire Beard
A new rooftop space, the Skyroom – designed by David Kohn Architects – was launched in collaboration with the Icon Design Trail yesterday, showing the potential of London’s forgotten rooftops.
The Skyroom sits on top of Magdalen House, a five-storey office building in Southwark, and is intended to be a venue for the Architecture Foundation (which occupies the ground floor) as well as a space for talks and presentations.
David Kohn Architects, which was awarded Young Architect of the Year 2009, has created a room with a view, singling out strategic vistas with the white steel structure, framing the sky above the central courtyard and revealing the nearby construction of the Shard by Renzo Piano. A cantilevered balcony offers views over Tooley Street below and the Tower of London beyond, and the clever layout of the space integrates intimate areas for meeting and relaxing.
The Skyroom houses a mixture of open and covered spaces, and materials are used for their lightness and varying degrees of transparency; copper and stainless steel mesh panelling create a moiré effect, blurring inside and outside as you move around the space, six ETFE cushions dappled with sun-blocking silver dots top the covered spaces, and the south wall is pierced with slim louvres, all continuing the luminous atmosphere of the space.
Southwark Council has granted planning permission until December, but the Architecture Foundation hopes the Skyroom will remain beyond that date.
photos Will Pryce