Rooftop Suite

West Architecture, London, 2017


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View from front 

Ben Blossom (website)     Download Original

  • View from front    
  • View from rear    
  • External detailing    
  • Window and shutter    
  • Bedroom    
  • View towards shower room    
  • Stair    
  • Vanity Unit    
  • Shower room    
  • Second Floor Plans    
  • Cross Section    
  • Long Section    
  • Elevations    
  • Model Sheet    
  • Detail    

A pair of unadorned, utilitarian zinc boxes sit on top of two late 20th century homes in Hackney

Designed as low-cost and low-impact house extensions, the sloped structures follow the exact roofline of the existing buildings and belie the more intricate interior spaces within. The project has been designed inside out to provide the owners of each property with a new bedroom, shower & WC to relieve pressure on the houses below, which fit within a pragmatic envelope defined by planning constraints.

The emphasis of this project at no. 24 was a series of highly detailed, minimalist rooms which feature robust materials chosen for their longevity. The new bedroom is clad on all vertical and floor surfaces with Douglas fir plywood stained with a white lye oil, while the shower room is made up of terrazzo sheets with a bespoke fabricated terrazzo vanity unit. A simple grey-painted hallway connects the two main rooms and the three varying environments become one united space when sliding partitions are left open. The top-lit hallway is generously proportioned and forms an atrium within the home, creating a link to the floors below via a new central staircase.

The rooftop enclosure is constructed of a timber frame with plywood stressed skin structure minimising its build-up and weight. Clad in standing seam zinc, the extension is set back from the front of the main house rendering it virtually invisible from ground level. The only visible element is clad in mirrored stainless steel to reflect the sky when viewed from neighbouring windows and ground level. The original roof joists have been re-used for the project and therefore the extension represents an extrusion straight up into the sky.

This straight forward approach to external design allowed for more expression with internal materials and finishes within the budget.


  • Begun: Mar 2017
  • Completed: Dec 2017
  • Floor area: 25m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £125,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Jan 2017
  • Procurement: Management Contract
  • Address: Hackney, London, United Kingdom

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