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Apartment Plans: What is a penthouse?

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Penthouse is an apartment located on the top floor of a building, which has an outdoor area, terrace, and is usually occupied by leisure items, such as a gourmet area, swimming pool, deck, among others. It’s like the backyard of a house, but with the privileged view from the top floor of the building and, of course, the amenities and security of a condominium.

Getting the best of both worlds comes at a price: the penthouse is the most valued unit in development and, therefore, is synonymous with status and luxury.

Penthouse Alef Residences in Dubai.

Born in the United States in the 1920s, when the use of elevators began to be explored, the penthouse also arrived in Brazil, although with less force and popularity.

Its name is often misused to classify apartments with double-height and outdoor areas. However, these characteristics do not necessarily configure a penthouse apartment.

In this post, we’ll get to know a little about the history and personality of this apartment pop star.

The first penthouse apartment in history

The title of the first penthouse in history is often given to the roof of the Plaza Hotel in New York. Since it opened in 1890, the hotel overlooking Central Park has become an icon of New York City. In addition to hosting the biggest names in music and sports, it has served as the setting for historic political meetings.

Plaza hotel, first penthouse in history.

First penthouse in history: Plaza Hotel, New York.

In the 1920s, the use of electricity and elevators became more explored, facilitating access to the highest areas of buildings. At that moment, the Plaza Hotel took the first step towards penthouse stardom, with the construction of an apartment on the building’s roof. The success was so great that the idea started to be replicated around the world.

Main features

It is very common to see the name penthouse being used to name apartments with luxury features, such as large ceilings, duplex and large terrace. However, to be a penthouse, the apartment needs to meet some basic requirements.

Penthouse with rooftop by: MHN Design Union. Penthouse apartments are synonymous with a lot of sophistication and functionality.

Being located on the roof of the building is its strongest feature. Having no upstairs neighbors and having a private outdoor area with an unobstructed view of the sky is the ultimate luxury that can be achieved by living in a building. If you do not meet these requirements, it is not a penthouse apartment.

It can be a duplex, have a double-height and mezzanine, but none of these attributes are relevant to classify an apartment as a penthouse. The outdoor area, however, is. Wide, usually serving swimming pools, spas, sundecks and gourmet spaces, is the 360 ​​view from the highest point of the building that crowns the penthouse apartment with the title of a penthouse.

Penthouses around the world

This apartment, located in Israel, appears to be much larger than 200 m². The layout integrates all environments, including the indoor and outdoor areas.

Penthouse designed by Pistou Kedem Architects. Project Piste Kedem Architects

The use of materials in their pure states, such as concrete, wood and iron, gives the interior design of penthouses a modern and, at the same time, timeless personality.

In Vietnam, the architects of i.house had as their starting point the construction of an environment that reflected the owner’s personality and provided comfort and relaxation.

Glass walls were chosen to separate the apartment’s uses. In addition to increasing the perception of the environment, they ensure more lighting in each room. The responsible office classifies the furniture as classic industrial.

Penthouse, whose project was done by i.house. i.house project

This project in Urca, Rio de Janeiro, signed by Studio Arthur Casas, is the perfect frame for the breathtaking view of Sugarloaf Mountain. Most of the penthouse walls were demolished, creating an environment entirely facing Guanabara Bay.

Project: Studio Arthur Casas. A great example of a penthouse. Project: Studio Arthur Casas

If you are interested in knowing other types of apartments, in addition to penthouses, you can check out more articles like this one, through the series “Apartment Plans”.