Apartment building "Hanover House", Bradford (UK)


Apartment building "Hanover House", Bradford (UK)

Roof extensions usually create two problems for architects: the first is technical in nature as the extension must be compatible with the existing structure; the second is a question of aesthetics.






Architect: Kraus - Schönberg, 
Technique: Standing seam VMZINC®, Surface aspect: ANTHRA-ZINC®


Whether one chooses contrast or integration, the “graft” must be accepted by the preexistingbuilding to produce the final result: a
single building. These problems sometimes arise in the specific context of a protected district, as in Bradford, in Yorkshire.



Hanover house is located in the “Little Germany” area of Bradford, a warehouse district built in the 19th century by merchants, most
of whom were German. Considered a major element of the local urban heritage, the city authorities intend to protect and restore the
area. A neighbourhood full of Victorian buildings, which owes its remarkable homogeneity not to its architecture but to the sandstone
material used for all the facades in the district. It is only fitting then that the hamburg-based Kraus - Schönberg agency, which has an office in London, should have been entrusted with the conversion of hanover house into a complex of eleven apartments. The most beautiful apartments of the operation are positioned at the summit of the building, beneath a new roof that now crowns the attics of this classified old

The roof extension rests mainly on extended supports positioned at the centre of the building. To keep the load weighing on the facade to a minimum, the architects designed the roof like a large self-supporting, monolithic structure in laminated wood. The folds accentuate the rigidity of the material and produce an effect that is both picturesque and modern, in perfect harmony with the diversity of roofs in “Little Germany”. Slate, which is the main roofing material in the area, was not suitable for this complex roof comprising multiple valleys and numerous faces. The architects substituted preweathered black zinc, which had a greater capacity to merge with the curves of the roof and to blend in with the range of blue-black colours in the surrounding environment.