ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style Case Studies -

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 (

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. ➤

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