Minimalist design—and a spot of brilliance—transform a 775-square-foot apartment on Mile End Road in East London.

Mile End Road Apartment by Vine Architecture

When Vine Architecture Studio reimagined this top-floor apartment in East London, they imbued the new design with a fresh, artful sensibility. “The existing apartment was in disrepair,” says architect Rory Pennant-Rea. “Our client Dalip Boora asked that we redesign and reconfigure the space so he could rent it—however he was so taken with the design that his son now lives there.” 

The brick-clad rooftop apartment on Mile End Road in East London features a vibrant yellow spiral staircase that links the upper and the lower terrace.

The brick-clad rooftop apartment on Mile End Road in East London features a vibrant yellow spiral staircase that links the upper and the lower terrace.

Nicholas Worley

The starting point for the redesign was Dalip’s desire for timelessness and durability. “We specifically chose finishes that are hard-wearing and easily repaired,” Pennant-Rea says. “The spruce panels we used for the kitchen joinery and sliding doors have a consistent core, which means they can be sanded and re-oiled many times [over]. The same is true for the thick veneer of the engineered oak floors.”



Spruce panels with a pale finish were used for the kitchen cabinetry and the sliding bedroom doors to lend cool texture to the apartment.

Spruce panels with a pale finish were used for the kitchen cabinetry and the sliding bedroom doors to lend cool texture to the apartment.  

Nicholas Worley

The building, which sits along Mile End Road, features a busy street entrance. “It has been in my client’s family for many years,” Pennant-Rea says. “When we first toured the flat, we could see the potential in this forgotten rooftop—we wanted to build on what it once was.”

Pennant-Rea is a firm believer in preservation. “Vine Architecture Studio’s ethos as a practice embraces the reinvention of existing spaces, which often pose more challenges, but have many benefits,” the architect says. “There’s reduced building material, and we’re able to knit the design into the fabric of a place. This kind of architectural layering requires careful identification of the merits of the existing building in order to produce a successful summation of old and new.”

The light-filled, open-plan kitchen/dining area of the apartment looks through treetops to views of the city.

The light-filled, open-plan kitchen/dining area of the apartment looks through treetops to views of the city.

Nicholas Worley

See the full story on Dwell.com: This Rooftop Apartment With a Bright Yellow Staircase Is Sunshine in a Bottle

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