Stepped Loft

Andre Kong Studio, London, 2022



Photos by Luke O'Donovan     Download Original

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Whilst exceptional residential groundfloor extensions are encouragingly more frequent in the UK, it is rarer to find lofts creatively expressing a clear architectural idea.

Stepped Loft makes the case for the loft as the crown of a home, standing proud in the roofscape of southeast London above a Victorian terraced house, expressed as a series of stepped brick volumes hosting a new study, bedroom and bathroom. The brief emerged out of two significant post-lockdown changes for a family that was outgrowing their home: the arrival of another child and a permanent shift to working remotely. The massing follows the house’s original L-shape, but breaks down an otherwise imposing volume with brick frames that scale down in increments, pulling out of each other like a telescope, whilst creating apertures for light-filled rooms. The interiors feature natural materials, with exposed timber rafters and exposed original brick, celebrating the stepping brickwork of the chimney stacks to reinforce a relationship between inside and outside, between old and new. Loft extensions in the UK traditionally feature roof tiles on their sides, to blend with the existing roofs. In Stepped Loft we wanted to assert this new level's presence in a more contemporary way, whilst still being sympathetic to the colours and materials of the existing house. The natural choice was to use brick, choosing two colours, dark grey, to blend with the retained concrete pantiles, and a lighter London stock brick to complement the existing brickwork. Following the same stepping logic, the brick cheeks articulate a rich texture that cast shadows by day and softly glow at night. With its confident nested portals and stepped brick cheeks, this design affirms a loft can be characterful and unique whilst being respectful of its neighbourhood context and original building fabric.


  • Begun: Apr 2021
  • Completed: Mar 2022
  • Floor area: 49m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £155,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Feb 2021
  • Procurement: RIBA Domestic Building Contract 2018/ Traditional
  • Address: London, SE23, United Kingdom

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