Clapham Loft

Twist In Architecture, London, 2014


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in


Dominic Harris (website)     Download Original

  • Study    
  • Study, Under Gallery    
  • Study, Joinery View    
  • Study    
  • Study    
  • Gallery    
  • Gallery & Staircase    
  • Staircase    
  • Rooflights in dusk    
  • Study, Night Time    
  • Under the Gallery in Night Time    
  • Study, Night Time    
  • Gallery & Staircase in Night Time    
  • Stairs Detail    
  • Shadows from Gallery    
  • Top Level Plan    
  • Gallery Plan    
  • Reflected Ceiling of the Gallery    
  • Section AA    
  • Section BB    
  • Section CC    
  • Sections DD & EE    
  • October 2012    
  • July 2013    
  • October 2013    
  • October 2013    
  • November 2013    
  • December 2013    
  • January 2014    
  • Staircase Details    
  • Balustrade Details    
  • Gallery Edge Details    
  • Staircase Setting Out    

A loft conversion in a Victorian building with a floating viewing gallery

The client presented a very simple brief to respect the Victorian spirit of their family house but to create a contemporary loft filled with sunlight to house their new large study and retreat.

The architect responded to this brief by designing a suspended perforated gallery which appears to be floating above the top level with a fluid spiral stairs as a connection.

It chose a rich spiral form derived from the golden section to create a sweeping spiral stair which gives balance to both Victorian style and the desired contemporary/industrial feel of the new space.

The stair and the gallery form a family of exposed black coated steel, steel cables, perforated steel deck and timber superimposed to the original brickwork wall.

The intervention responds to the volume’s symmetry with the spiral stair positioned along the centre line of the gallery and framed evenly between the dwellings chimney breasts. Through detailed exposed metal work and subtle baroque-like forms, this contemporary intervention also gives respect to the old Victorian spirit.

The gallery utilises its west facing clear views to Clapham Common to give a wonderful place for spending afternoon and enjoying the settling sun.


  • Begun: Jul 2013
  • Completed: Mar 2014
  • Floor area: 60m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £130,000
  • Funding: Private fund
  • Tender date: May 2013
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works
  • Address: Clapham Common South Side, London, SW4, United Kingdom

Professional Team