Room for improvement

Additional living space thanks to bespoke loft conversion

Finding the right plot can be very difficult, particularly near cities. Those who would like to live in an urban environment and are lucky enough to have found a piece of land in a sought-after location are reluctant to give it up once their home is standing on it. But what happens when living circumstances suddenly change and more living space is required? Roof extensions are an attractive solution for families who want to convert their roof into a "vacant plot" at a lofty height.

A view across the water, green outdoor areas on the doorstep, excellent infrastructure and only a few minutes to the bustling city centre: these fantastic living attributes rarely apply to one and the same plot. All the more reason for the Kreuz family to be happy that they have made such a lucky find. In 2008, the couple built a two-storey house (conventional brick building) on a converted industrial site with a view of the Rhine River. At that time, the abandoned/closed down harbour with its surrounding area was still not very charming, and the plots in the neighbourhood were hardly developed. The two planned their home according to rather short-term considerations, because they did not yet know where working life would take them.

“Living on the banks of the river” quickly became an insider tip and consequently the cityscape changed rapidly - the neighbourhood with island flair was further developed into a green residential oasis with excellent access to public transportation.

The owner remembers

After this positive turnaround, it was clear to us that we wanted to stay in our house. Because you don't get a location like this every day. However, after our son was born in 2018, we were also expecting another baby in 2021, we urgently needed more space. Building an annexe was out of the question on our 490-square-metre plot. So, we had to come up with something different

The two owners decided to extend the living space by raising the roof. However, they were concerned about such aspects as the statics of the existing building and the harmonious integration of the extension into its interior and exterior appearance. During their research they came across HUF HAUS: "We were looking for something of high-quality with a lot of glass, after all we have the Rhine promenade on our doorstep."

Together with the ServiceART experts of HUF HAUS, an impressive post-and-beam building was created in the shape of a penthouse extension with an area of 56 square metres and an additional roof terrace (designed as a walking deck that wraps around the house) of 43 square metres. The filigree timber and glass construction sits perfectly on top of the white existing building, which majestically opens onto the water. Through the new glass façade, the view can sweep over the jetty and, in good weather, even as far as Mannheim Castle.

The couple sums up

Thanks to the visualisations, we knew in advance that the HUF House extension to our building would be a real head-turner. Experiencing the disassembly of the existing roof and then the assembly of the new roof construction was another highlight. You have to bear in mind that we continued to live in the house the whole time - open-heart surgery, so to speak. There was no room for things to go wrong! The HUF team did an excellent job and everyone was conscientious, reliable as well as highly motivated.

The penthouse extension features an open-plan concept with a generous master bedroom and a “room in room shower”. A push of a button is all it takes to lower the blinds for more privacy. Thanks to the spectacular location, dinner meanwhile also often takes place on the new floor. "We have sun at all times of the day, which is fantastic. We love the morning sun overlooking the garden and in the evening we enjoy the sunset over the water on the balcony facing west. Our son loves the new living space and especially the videos of the construction of the roof extension. He is also a big fan," says the mother of two.

The extension and the existing building were connected by a HUF staircase in the characteristic timber and glass look. These large glass elements illuminate the stairway and another floor-to-ceiling glass element was placed towards the staircase leading down. Therefore, the existing building also benefits from the light-flooded architecture of the new storey.

It took 13 weeks from dismantling to "moving " into the timber and glass paradise - a short time for a long-term gain in quality of life.