Attic at the Pepper Mill

Renovation of a roof and attic-rooms with full-glass dormers

Antwerp, 2013 - ..., private client

The house is as firm as a house, but the roof needs replacement. Rain blows inside and heat is blowing out. Furthermore the existing situation isn’t as fulfilling. One room under the attic is uncomfortably low and the other breaks out of the roof, turning into this weird piece of flat roof. The design consists of some very specific interventions, which not only renew the roof in a technical way, but on top of that rearrange the attic and the rooms below into a more qualitative whole.

The shape of the roof is restored to her former dignity, she spans now from the historic gutter at the front facade to the back facade, which increases the volume, floor surface and free height under het span. So more room. The in-between-floor is removed when building the roof and it does not return. A mezzanine takes shape. Three specific openings break through the roof. In front against the gutter, neatly symmetrically outlined with the rhythm of the historic facade, a dormer is built. Modeled like a classic dormer –with a pointy roof – but completely made out of glass. A dormer to look. Over the roofs of other people. To the monumental tower of the Sint-Jansevangelistenkerk, also known as ‘de Peperbus’. So close and so nearby, that only way you can see it, is because you can also look out the sides of the dormer. Also in the front of the roof there’s a skylight. It was kind of there already, but in a different place. Recycling.

At the back, another dormer is resting on the split-level. Bigger that the former, but again completely out of glass, single glass this time, sunlight and warmth pour into the place. On the sides all sorts of plants and herbs are suspended. This upper-garden (winter-dormer?) is looking out over the big garden below. And the gardens of other people. A dormer to be. The window’s open and the sound of lawnmowers is carried in the wind. The coriander needs some more water. Next to the garden-dormer closets fill up the corners of the gable roof. Good riddance. A mansion with attic-dormers, to see and to be, to the garden, to the roofs and to the stone colossus of the Peperbus.

Renovation of roof and rooms below of a single family residence.

Insulated gable roof with fiber cement slates
Dormers: aluminum greenhouse profiles; thermal insulated glass and single glass; two
Closets and new finishing in boarding material

Antwerp, near de peperbus

Engineering: I'm with Alice
Sustainability: Lien Christiaens
Safety Coordination: Frederik Van Rompaey


rear dormer - under construction  

rear dormer - under construction  

view at mezzanine  

cross section  



rear facade