South Bank, London
The Queen’s Head Hotel is a single room hotel for Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank, London designed by Studio DA (Pereen d’Avoine and Pierre d’Avoine). Our room for London is a glass ellipse placed on a circular gold plinth, bounded by pivoting gold and mirrored louvres, which hold aloft a golden disc crowned with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. We propose using the portrait of the Queen that is used on coins, medallions, stamps, seals and other royal insignia, only here at the scale of the city seen from the sky, from aircraft, from the high buildings to the south, from the top of the London Eye and from the cupola of St Paul’s Cathedral. This portrait is an image that is familiar and instantly recognisable, yet at the same time classic in its symbolism. There are associations too with gold medals presented to victors at the Olympic Games and to chocolate coins found in Christmas stockings. By calling our room The Queen’s Head, we also celebrate a long British tradition of naming public houses and small hotels, after the reigning monarch. Our design for The Queen’s Head has a light touch – it glints and sparkles above the powerful concrete forms of the South Bank. From Waterloo Bridge, the Thames and the north bank, it appears as a form on the point of dematerialising - abstract, hovering and mysterious, only revealing itself fully to those guests lucky enough to obtain a booking for the night.