Islington Penthouse

HÛT Architects , London, 2013

 

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Jim Potter     Download Original

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A penthouse within and above an Italianate villa in Highbury, London

Originally built as an Italianate villa overlooking Highbury Fields in the 1850s, the building had already been converted into mansion apartments.

The intervention transformed the top floor apartment from a series of small spaces, with an inexplicably large number of small bathrooms and dark corners, into a series of distinct and dramatic spaces.

The main living floor was completely opened up along one side, making the most of the double aspect views across Highbury Fields to the east and the London skyline to the west. The other side of the apartment, containing three bedrooms, two bathrooms, laundry and WC is completely concealed behind hidden doors in a coloured wall.

Throughout the project external walls were insulated, windows upgraded and underfloor heating set beneath reclaimed timber flooring. Internal and external doors of bespoke steel construction with fire rated glass allow for open-plan living downstairs, and upstairs provide access to the roof.

Above the apartment and invisible from the street are two secret terraces. Accessed by climbing through doors from the rooftop library these spaces are set up for parties and contemplation. The library itself has a panoramic window looking west, with a single blade of stainless steel propping up the roof, and flooring that becomes steps that become a seat.

Outside recycled scaffolding boards and astro-turf take the place of decking and lawn; and with an illuminated glass floor, built-in lighting and sound system, these terraces become retreats amongst the London skyline.

Data

  • Begun: Mar 2013
  • Completed: Nov 2013
  • Floor area: 155m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £241,000
  • Procurement: Negotiated / JCT Minor Works
  • Address: Islington, London, N5, United Kingdom

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