Zurich West – trendy district with a high quality of life was the title of an article we published here a few weeks ago. It was prompted by an extremely attractive penthouse flat on the 23rd floor of the Mobimo Tower, which is currently for sale. Now the online magazine Luxury Defined by Christie’s International Real Estate has recently published an article that focuses on the potential of architecture and design of living in a penthouse.
Luxury Defined describes the penthouse as pinnacle, as apex and finally as the crown jewel of any residential building and continues: “Penthouses come with far-reaching views and usually the largest and most extravagant layouts. They are canvases for unfettered creativity for architects and interior designers. Long a status symbol of the affluent, their appeal endures.” It quotes Alexander Doherty, owner of the New York-based Alexander Doherty Design, woh said: “A penthouse is always desirable for the views, and for many of my clients, it represents a culmination of their success story.”
Four aspects are central to his architecture and design strategy at Penthouses: Sky High Advantage, Amplifying Extravagance, Location and a lofty approach.
Sky High Advantage
By nature of their elevated geography, penthouses are often flooded with natural light, and can come with private amenities such as a landscaped terrace, wine rooms, or personal gyms. Owning one comes with a level of cachet, which designers encapsulate by ensuring the design is as unique as the owner.
“The design is meant to enhance and aid the views, because a penthouse buyer really is keen that nothing skews them,” says Thomas Griem, a London-based designer who has completed penthouses in London, Hong Kong, and beyond.
Doherty says: “But we always think about how we can make [a property] more special. Everything has to be bespoke, individual, and unusual. The difference between a regular condo and a penthouse is that we’re trying to show space, volume, and openness, as well as create long views.”
Location, Location, Location
“When designing a penthouse, it’s first important to take note of its unique location,” says Bethany Price, a senior designer at London-based SHH. In contemporary settings, floor-to-ceiling windows with minimal framing provide a seamless connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces, which can also be accentuated by a continuation of materials. In penthouses that have a strong sense of geometry and rhythm, contours are great at providing a fresh approach to a layout. Using a curved sofa with a collection of armchairs and cocktail tables, for instance, will create a more intimate pocket of space for conversation and casual relaxation.”
A Lofty Approach
For many designers, approaching a brief for a penthouse is completely different to how they tackle most apartments, and clients like to showcase how their unit is unique.
“Clients are often interested in finding materials that nobody else has,” Griem says. “My clients who own penthouses appreciate interiors, and if they buy a property that is unique, they want the interior to be unique.”
Doherty adds that a love of life at the top is enduring. “The reasons people first got excited about buying penthouses are all still there.”
Inspired to make your move and upgrade up? Explore Christie’s collection of luxury penthouses available on the market right now, or read the article “Sky-High Homes: 5 Luxury Penthouses with Breathtaking Views” in Luxury Defined.