Loft Conversion, Town Palace
The owner of this 17C palace in Prague chose to convert the 250 sqm loft into a pied-a-terre. The difficulties of obtaining approval for alterations to the roof were not simplified by the fact that there was no access except via a 600 x 600 mm hatch, originally intended for chimneysweeps. Access was eventually achieved via the lift shaft above a service staircase. The walls were incapable of taking significant loading, so the entire stair was suspended from trusses at loft level all the way to the first floor. The preference for a glass stair was initiated by the necessity of bringing daylight as deep as possible into the loft, and as a translucent structure in a space which could feel claustrophobic.