THE LIGHT AND SPACIOUS REAR EXTENSION
The owners of Slim House, a narrow property in Clapham, south London, wanted to extend their home and bring in more light. The co-founder of Alma-nac, Tristan Wigfall, explains how adding smart skylights and a light well to the property’s uniquely sloping roof did exactly that (alma-nac.com).
Why did you choose to use skylights? We had first developed the idea of a dramatically sloping roof for the rear extension, then we settled on skylights as a way to provide framed views of the outside from every floor of the house. What type of skylight did you opt for? It was really important that they sat as neatly and as flush with the ceiling as possible, so for this project we went for manually operated centre pivot skylights by Velux. We chose standard sizes, except for the large skylight that sits directly above the dining area – that one was a bespoke creation. What do you have to consider when installing them? It’s important to think about the orientation of your roof – if the glass is south-facing there’s a risk of your room becoming too hot. If your window is very high up, you may need to opt for an automated, remote-controlled skylight (these cleverly open when the temperature rises and close if it rains). What are the benefits? In Slim House, the skylights provide both views of the sky and horizontally across the garden. Views of the horizon create a really enhanced sense of spaciousness, while skylights placed above the staircase act as a light well, brightening the house from within.
Was there any result of the project that you didn’t plan for?
I didn’t expect the skylights to have such an effect on the overall look of the outside of the building. The staggered arrangement has really played with the scale of the house. ➤