Bright apartment renovation modernizes a 1920s attic

Ondrej Synak
© Ondrej Synak

This former pigeon roost is transformed into a light-filled family home.

Living in the attic can have a number of advantages: there's more natural light, and plenty of privacy and quiet at the topmost level of a building. However, one major disadvantage is that an attic can have a lot of odd-shaped corners that can become wasted spaces, depending on the way the roof is shaped.

In Bratislava, Slovakia, at26_architects revamped a disused attic in a 1920s building, located in a historical neighbourhood known as Ziegelfeld. The original attic space was in a state of disrepair -- serving as a place for pigeons to roost and as a place to dry clothing.

Ondrej Synak© Ondrej Synak

Ondrej Synak© Ondrej Synak

The old attic has now been converted into three-bedroom apartment of 990 square feet (92 square metres), spread over two floors, and includes a living room, kitchen and bathroom. To renovate it, the architects had to first examine the condition of the existing load-bearing beams and trusses, in addition to cleaning things up, they say:

Due to unsatisfying results, some of the original beams were replaced by new and together they form the truss, which is an essential part of the design. Upon the old truss, a new one was built, also containing a layer of insulation. The whole roof is covered by sheathings made of steel with standing seams in the color of anthracite.

Ondrej Synak© Ondrej Synak

With the structural updates in place, the architects then developed a new design scheme where the over-arching palette is bright white, which helps to visually enlarge the spaces, as well as visually connecting them. In addition, new dormers were constructed in a few of the rooms to create more headroom.

Ondrej Synak© Ondrej Synak

This is an intriguing set of stairs leading up to the upper floor -- it seems like a hybrid of a standard stair and an alternating tread stair.

Ondrej Synak© Ondrej Synak

Ondrej Synak© Ondrej Synak

Upstairs, there is a 'chill-out' space that includes a cozy "space module" for the kids to play in. The apartment uses an eco-friendly heating pump to heat its interior, and mineral wool was used as insulation.

Ondrej Synak© Ondrej Synak

Ondrej Synak© Ondrej Synak

at26_architects© at26_architects

at26_architects© at26_architects

at26_architects© at26_architects

To see more, visit at26_architects, Facebook and Instagram.

Bright apartment renovation modernizes a 1920s attic
This former pigeon roost is transformed into a light-filled family home.

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