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Maximising space with Monsieur Mansart

Converting your loft can be a good way of creating new space and adding value to your home. A mansard roof conversion is a popular option.

Named after the seventeenth-century architect François Mansart, the conversion has four steeply sloping sides, dormer windows and a flat or gently pitched roof.

Mansart used the design for many of his buildings. Mansart was influenced by the treatises of Vitruvius and Andrea Palladio, and is recognised as the architect who introduced Classicism to French Baroque. As such, his buildings exhibit precision, subtlety and composition.

A mansard conversion typically spans from gable wall to gable wall and effectively adds another full storey to a property. It often requires more construction work and is more expensive than other types of loft conversions, but it will provide maximum use of space within a roof. It is particularly popular on period, terraced properties, and adds at least a couple of rooms.

Harrogate based designers, Studio4, have planned a mansard conversion for a Victorian property in Kingston-Upon-Thames.

Front Isometric as existing

Front isometric as proposed

The images above show the property as existing and proposed. The loft conversion will have a flat roof and near vertical sides permitting maximum use of space. The segmented dormer windows to the front of the property and flat dormers to the rear, will introduce daylight into the attic rooms. The height of the ridge and eaves will be raised and the first-floor room to the rear of the property will increase in size.

Second Floor as proposed

Second Floor section looking east from the front

The L-shaped conversion has two sections, one that sits on the main body of the house and replicates the first floor in terms of space and the other that sits on the rear addition of the property. The design will add three rooms to the property including two bedrooms one of which will be en suite.

A mansard conversion is adaptable and can be finished to match or contrast the existing building style. The steep slopes on the conversion mean much of the roof will be visible. It is therefore important to select a material that is aesthetically pleasing as well as functional and durable. The most common material is asphalt which is the material planned for Studio4’s design. It is economical and lasts on avery twenty-five years. It is the simple and inoffensive option. Other

materials include ceramic and cement tiles, synthetic shingles, and metals the most stand out being copper.

Three dimensional model (front)

Three Dimensional model (rear)

The mansard conversion designed by Studio4, will extend the clients home and give them the extra space that they want and need. The design exhibits the subtlety and composition François Mansart saw in classical architecture. It maintains honesty of expression and ornamentation is afforded rationally by form and material. By building upwards and outwards, mansard conversions create new space from existing space. They do, however, almost always require planning position. So when you are considering a mansard conversion, be aware of the planning permission it may require.

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