Olympia Loft

A 'three-dimensional' apartment from a small roof extension. London / United Kingdom / 2017

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The Olympia Loft shows the result of the transformation of a 55sqm, self-contained, unmodernised and very fragmented single floor flat, product of a speculative 1980’s house-to-flats conversion, into a 77 sqm open plan and section double height apartment.


Considering the starting condition of the single floor flat together with the quite considerable expectations and hoped results by the Clients, we thought to develop the design concept turning the challenging limits of the existing house into key architectural factors. We achieved this in three main ways: (a) proposing just a very small and sloped rear roof extension (5.30 cbm, 6.1% of the existing loft space) which the Local Planning Authority accepted as respectful of the existing terraced house shape, but actually sufficient to design the loft as a liveable floor at the rear, and double up the heights of the living spaces at the front; (b) reshaping the front windows and relocating and enlarging the roof skylights to obtain a more generous and uniform natural lighting and ventilation throughout the whole apartment; (c) generating a fluent visual communication between living and sleeping areas through open plans and a pentagonal-shaped open section, but still preserving visual and acoustic privacy when needed with glazed and screening systems.


The result is an apartment with an open plan layout for the Kitchen-Dining-Living areas at the lower level and a master bedroom en-suite on the upper mezzanine-balcony level, which seems to solidly ‘seat’ on the linear kitchen on one side and almost ‘float’ over the living areas on the other end, overlooking them through a full width internal glazing. An apartment with an internal spirally-shaped circulation that, wrapping around the two bathrooms, connects all the spaces, and where the white surfaces diffuse the natural light and the exposed bricks create internal contrasts, revealing somehow the terraced nature of the house.


In a surround played by the simplicity of the geometries, the last touch has then been given by the owners: from the 'Sucre' writing on the main living wall, a nice present of the husband as this is how he sometimes calls his wife, to the TVR engine that supports the bespoke table in the living area, from the few 1960s photos and furniture to the blue and grey tones of the fabrics.

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    The Olympia Loft shows the result of the transformation of a 55sqm, self-contained, unmodernised and very fragmented single floor flat, product of a speculative 1980’s house-to-flats conversion, into a 77 sqm open plan and section double height apartment. Considering the starting condition of the single floor flat together with the quite considerable expectations and hoped results by the Clients, we thought to develop the design concept turning the challenging limits of the existing...

    Project details
    • Year 2017
    • Work started in 2017
    • Work finished in 2017
    • Main structure Mixed structure
    • Client Private
    • Contractor Mick Maher
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Apartments / Lofts/Penthouses
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