The Loft

The IAD Company

The Loft
SE1, London

The Loft is a penthouse apartment spanning the top two floors of a converted biscuit factory dating back to the early 1900's. As part of an earlier development the property was extended out on to the adjoining roof terrace using a brick structure with an almost entirely glazed dual pitch roof. This space, whilst aesthetically very impressive, was practically abandoned due to the lack of thermal efficiency provided by the mass of fixed glazing panels - if during the summer the space could be compared with an oven, in the winter it was definitely a fridge.

Our brief was to completely overhaul the property, stripping it back to the basics and then rebuilding the space in a more considered and deliberate way.

The 'conservatory' (as the roof extension had been affectionately nicknamed) was a 35m² space which fed a lot of natural daylight down in to the rest of the apartment below. During the design process we had to find a way to address the thermal and ventilation issues whilst retaining the access to natural light which the area provided.

Another notable feature of The Loft is its location. Nestled in the center of London, alongside the Thames and a stone’s throw from Tower Bridge, the roof terrace attached to the apartment enjoys views out over the classic London skyline. As well as the Gherkin, Cheese Grater and Walkie Talkie, the apartment has an outstanding view of The Shard which we decided early on should be incorporated within our design.

As part of the overhaul to the layout of The Loft we proposed to move the Kitchen and Dining Space up in to the conservatory to take advantage of the large open area. To further make the most of the space we suggested raising up the ridge height by 50cm and building a side extension off the end of the conservatory, opening up the room to the incredible views which had previously only been visible when standing out on the terrace.

These alterations (along with some others from the works being done to the rest of the property) required approval from both the planning officer and the conservation officer, as the old biscuit factory was part of a Wharf with conservation status. Given that the works were to be carried out 5 stories up in a densely packed area with the only access coming from a narrow one direction road there were plenty of challenges set out before us to take our designs from paper to reality. Thankfully one item which presented absolutely no issues throughout this process was our selection of roof window! The client was enthusiastic about the level of control the product would give them, the conservation officer approved of the look of the windows and we were satisfied with the price.