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TRAPEZEY DOES IT; Light and space sold this loft to its new owners.. oh, and high ceilings so they could fly though the air with the greatest of ease.

THERE was light, there was space. But, more important for Philippa Vafadari, the high ceilings means she can now put up her trapeze.

The loft conversion in The Todd Building, a converted turn-of-the-century Glasgow yarn factory, also meant husband David Churchill - an architectural photographer - had space for an office and dark room.

"The high ceilings and the windows on three sides made the other flats we saw feel dark and poky," says trapeze artist Philippa, who also lectures on theatre.

Originally from London, the couple wanted to move to a city which would offer a better quality of life. Glasgow, where Philippa went to university, seemed ideal.

Philippa already had friends there. Another bonus, as David points out, is that "within an hour we can be in the countryside - some place wild and beautiful like Loch Lomond".

At first, David thought he would carry out all the necessary alterations to accommodate their respective jobs himself. But in the end he consulted Glasgow architect Gareth Hoskins for advice.

Gareth came up with an open-plan design. It retained the ceiling height along the windows while creating an apartment along the inside wall to take the darkroom, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

The mezzanine above this is Philippa's office and area for yoga, which she also teaches.

The dining room is partitioned off from the living area by a partial wall which retains the sense of spaciousness.

As a photographer, David knows the importance of lighting. So he got Hoskins to design a series of frosted glass wall panels to be placed throughout the loft and fitted with uplighters.

This diffused light softens the bold panels of white and orange wall, which, combined with pale beech flooring, serve to give the apartment a strong, modern feel.

In their search for inexpensive materials David and Philippa turned to architectural salvage yards and the nearby Barras market.

Each provided a rich source of both reclaimed building materials and home furnishings

The unusual radiators for instance, as well as the reclaimed wood used on the sound-proofed floor.

So would they do it again? Drill, saw, hammer, give up weekends and holidays?

David answers firmly: "No." But a few moments later Philippa is already saying: "The next time.."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 12, 2000
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