Stairway To Haven

Zac Monro Architects, London, 2016


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Gareth Gardner (website)     Download Original

  • BW - Proposed Loft Plan    
  • BW - Proposed Roof Plan    
  • BW - Proposed Second Floor Plan-1    
  • BW - Proposed Section AA    
  • BW - Proposed Section BB    
  • BW - Proposed Stair Detailed Sections    

The transformation of a dark Victorian flat into a lighter, more open, contemporary family home

The aim of Brownswood Road was to create a green hideaway within a new section of mansard roof that enabled strong visual connections with the outside and provided natural light for the existing flat.

The proposed concerns the top floor flat of a three-storey mid-terrace Victorian property, which has been sub-divided into three self-contained flats. With limited internal space and restricted access to the loft level, the brief was to build a new haven in the loft, connected by a habitable staircase.

It was evident from an early stage that the configuration of the flat was centered around the main hallway space. As the hallway currently stands as the main entrance and transitional space into all adjoining rooms, it became apparent that whatever was going to be achieved would have to address and reestablish the space in the hallway.

By introducing two key architectural interventions, a 3.5m x 1.9m glass skylight and a habitable oak timber staircase, ZMA were able to bring a sense of the outside space to an otherwise dark, traditional north London flat. The balustrade, comprised of vertical oak strips, playfully prompts your eye upwards through a series of punctured boxes, that provide structural integrity and house an array of interweaving plants, forming the ‘Stairway Haven’.


  • Begun: Mar 2016
  • Completed: Oct 2016
  • Floor area: 102m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £150,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works
  • Address: Brownswood Road, London, N4 2HP, United Kingdom

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