da vinci house


2014

london

2no. private duplex penthouses
new-build extension
730sqm internal


two new build penthouses over an existing building in Central London

stair leading to terrace in double-height entrance hall
panoramic view of London through steel structure
site location diagram
floating timber treads wrap around red steel post

An oak stair winds three storeys, up through the centre of the home


Site

Da Vinci House involved the construction of three new levels over an existing building, to form two penthouses of 750sqm plus over 300sqm of roof gardens. The building sits on a tight urban site at the corner of Saffron Hill with St Cross Street, close to Farringdon Station.

site scaffolding on St Cross Street
aerial view of site before works

The original 5 storey building was previously commercial in use – we understand it housed the printing works for the former ‘Punch’ magazine - and was converted to residential apartments in 1995.


Concept

The entrance halls to both penthouses are at the heart of the design, and are designed to lead visitors up to main reception areas on the upper levels.

isometric sketch of main reception rooms
double-height space with view of St Pauls beyond

Double-height spaces open onto long vistas over London, with St Pauls and the Shard in the distance, and maximise daylight.

child in window overlooking St Pauls and the London skyline

The circulation within the apartment responds to the London skyline, opening up the interior to dramatic framed views.


night view of the city

West Terrace, before the landscaping is in place.

Transparency

perspective sketch of floating staircase

Section through the staircase of Penthouse 1, showing the route from the Entrance Hall up through the building.

The city skyline is reflected through the apartment

wooden steps between glass in front of blue wall

Details

detail of blue bookcase
detail of custom cupboard joinery
solid oak landing over grey tiled floor
limestone wetroom with steam, bath and shower
bathroom with Bisazza mosaic and Pyrolave blue counter
detail of custom blue joinery

Drawings

plan of penthouse reception areas
concept section through both penthouses

concept section showing interconnection of the key spaces


top-lit playroom area
floating stair through reception areas to roof terrace


Construction

In order to minimise the impact over the existing building below, the three new floors were constructed using a lightweight steel frame.

steel frame under construction, below scaffold double-height entrance hall under construction
steel frame under construction, viewed from above


Credits

Services Engineer - Thornley & Lumb (Stage 1), Heydon Pierre (Stage 2)
Structural Engineer - MMP Design Ltd
Project Manager - London Project Services
General Contractor - Harmonix Construction (Stage 1), Oldland Shopfitters (Stage 2)