London-based Levitate Architects came up with this ingenious solution to a book storage problem and created a loft-like bedroom nestled under the roof of the top-floor apartment. Here’s what Levitate’s Tim Sloan had to say about the project:
“The flat occupies part of the shared top floor of an existing Victorian mansion block. Our proposal extended the flat into the unused loft space above, creating a new bedroom level and increasing the floor area of the flat by approximately one third. We created a ‘secret’ staircase, hidden from the main reception room, to access a new loft bedroom lit by roof lights. Limited by space, we melded the idea of a staircase with our client’s desire for a library to form a ‘library staircase’ in which English oak stair treads and shelves are both completely lined with books. With a skylight above lighting the staircase, it becomes the perfect place to stop and browse a tome. The stair structure was designed as an upside down ‘sedan chair’ structure (with Rodrigues Associates, Structural Engineers, London) that carries the whole weight of the stair and books back to the main structural walls of the building. It dangles from the upper floor thereby avoiding any complicated neighbour issues with the floors below.”
The downside of this design is the “drawers left open” problem. A better design would be to have the step hinged up on the front, pulling the drawer out through the use of a connecting rod. That way, when the step was lowered, the drawer would automatically return to its closed position.