Architecture is in the production stage of structural innovations for rethinking the design of public architecture to strengthen the visual connection, community interaction, especially after the pandemic crisis. The need for privacy increases, and it defines how important is our living in territories. For instance, penthouses have become a commonly used apartment type, especially in the United States.
Penthouse is an architectural structure that is both aesthetic and functional. It can be described as an enclosed structure on or above the roof of the building designed according to the purpose of human occupancy.
1. Penthouses for the use of free-flowing spaces
Penthouses are one of the most luxurious and largest apartments in a building by providing more private living space with a 360-degree view on top of the skyscraper. Matteo Cainer Architects designs a penthouse ‘La Forêt Urbaine’ in Paris, which is encompassed by a magnificent view. The penthouse design consists of innovative solutions; sustainable features were used to reduce carbon footprint, and an open floor plan provides free-flowing space for the user with greenery and natural light.
Matteo Cainer Architects also mentioned the structural implementation: “Initially, the apartment had to undergo an in-depth gutting. Subsequently, an important structural phase consolidated the existing structure and created a new structural frame for the new architectural project.”
Matteo Cainer Architects designed a unique penthouse in terms of an expansive rooftop garden with a city view. Landscape design plays a vital role because the studio aims to increase the relation between nature and architecture even if it is far away from the ground. For this reason, the penthouse has a living space with distinct colours, scents, and scenarios with a roof garden to act as a biodiversity link between the cities’ surrounding greenery.
A tree-like pergola is used to foster vegetation to create exterior shaded areas in terms of its innovative structure. The preliminary design principle of the orthogonal grid is to guide interior geometries with the freeing of the façade and the interior plan. Therefore, circulation is clean and identifiable, and lighting can be a beneficial natural source to penetrate through the living spaces.
2. Penthouse Renovation Through a Hybrid Space
Penthouses can be implemented in different kinds of buildings. The Soho Penthouse design by Andrew Berman Architect is an example of a penthouse situated in a cast-iron building. It also formulates the penthouse’s interior and exterior as a material selection method; they worked with the building’s original structure to restore it and reinforced the timber columns, girder, and joists. Penthouses have flexibility in having sunlight also providing skylight on a roof plan.
Soho Penthouse has different sized skylights, which allow lighting with different intensities. Moreover, the penthouse was renovated as a multi-functional hybrid space; the space can be used as a living loft and photography studio. Therefore, Soho Penthouse by Andrew Berman Architect is an innovative example for rethinking the future in the scope of having flexibility for multi-functional options in space.
Soho Penthouse also has an open plan layout by giving flexibility to the user. The selection of the materials is made by differentiating the existing structure of the building with additional materials. The pure white ceiling gives more openness and spacious atmosphere and working, and the library area is in the private zone with wooden shelf grids, which is visible from the living space and has an inner core.
Also, the wooden staircase provides a connection through a mezzanine which has a book-lined den, and a roof level that has a pergola-covered dining terrace. For this reason, the Soho Penthouse creates a unique structure by preserving the existing building’s characteristics and combining it with new materials and colours in New York.
3. Interactive Visual Landscape of a Penthouse
JDS Architects’ design of Penthouses and Rooftop Terrace in Copenhagen is an interactive interplay of a penthouse within its surroundings and creating a joyful atmosphere on top of the building. The aim is to create a ‘missing garden’ at the top of the existing housing block which has 3 new penthouses, and the residents can access the outdoor garden.
The design has unique solutions for the functionality of spaces and associated materiality. JDS Architects designed penthouses fostering neighbourhood relationships instead of giving the user isolated privacy, and it provides a new typology for the use and public relation of penthouse structures.
Therefore, Penthouses and Rooftop Terrace in Copenhagen provides an interactive solution for embracing both special needs of the user profile, such as elegant, and functional space and, also an interactive missing garden to socialize, lie down, and watch the surroundings on top of the building.
In conclusion, the penthouse design matches future user profiles by having more comfort in their special residents and embracing and being part of the urban environment.
- World Architecture Community. 2021. Matteo Cainer Architects designs penthouse with free-flowing spaces on Paris’ old apartment. [online] Available at: <https://worldarchitecture.org/architecture-news/cmhfc/matteo-cainer-architects-designs-penthouse-with-freeflowing-spaces-on-parisi-old-apartment.html> [Accessed 14 July 2021].
- Andrewbermanarchitect.com. 2021. Andrew Berman Architect — Project — Soho Penthouse. [online] Available at: <http://andrewbermanarchitect.com/projects/soho_penthouse> [Accessed 14 July 2021].
- ArchDaily. 2021. Soho Penthouse / Andrew Berman Architect. [online] Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/950763/soho-penthouse-andrew-berman-architect?ad_medium=gallery> [Accessed 14 July 2021].
- ArchDaily. 2021. Penthouses and Rooftop Terrace / JDS Architects. [online] Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/142110/penthouses-and-rooftop-terrace-jds-architects?ad_medium=gallery> [Accessed 14 July 2021].