Zaha Hadid’s conceptual study for a penthouse in Halkin Place reveals her early thoughts on a new style of living
Fragment of the London projects: ‘Roof Rights/Living in the Air’
‘This is one fragment of a study on London at various levels from small sites in the housing matrix to larger urban sites. Some schemes are polemical, others commissioned. The scheme envisages the invasion of the roof scape – a terrain with its own limitations and specific urban conditions. It relates both to the sky and to its immediate surroundings – other roof-tops, some habitable, others not. In a metropolitan condition where land is scarce and planning aerial view over London/Halkin Place penthouse restrictions are severe, these elevated sites, having their own rules, should be looked at as pieces of land.
The programmes could be with public or private depending on the location. In this scheme the space is private. Horizontally the penthouse is sandwiched between the existing roof and a new roof. Vertically, services divide the site into two zones, one indoor and one outdoor. The only object which pierces through the roof is the bedroom and the only object which pierces through the services is the study. All other partitions are mobile. The materials are glass, stone, metal and concrete. The design allows for a new kind of living that matches progress.’