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Colonising: Space Invaders

Paul Nagel's business is protecting space. His company, Panther Securities, is responsible for all those black-clad men who guard the doors of designer emporiums Paul Smith, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Donna Karan, cK and DKNY. His penthouse apartment, in a former Victorian furniture warehouse in Old Street in the East End of London, is a launch pad for colonising upwards, into the sky.

For most people, a warehouse apartment with the floor space of a football pitch would be enough, but not for Nagel. "Good is not good enough," he says. Originally, he had intended to build a completely new floor, which would have meant raising the existing roof, but this proved unfeasible. He has, however, bought the air space above the roof, and now intends to build a decking structure across the two apexes of the roof, accessible by a spiral staircase from the penthouse, and construct a fully landscaped terrace.

He is also building two bedrooms into the warehouse's rafters. "One is already completed and the other is going to be 300sq ft, stretching over the main living area up to the kitchen. I've replaced the ladder up to the first bedroom with a curving staircase. The next bedroom will have a spiral staircase around the central pillar. Everything, including the roof terrace, will be completed in two months. Then I might move and start again. I think I should have a swimming pool next time"

Having decided that raising the roof of the warehouse was unfeasible, Paul Nagel (above left) elected to build bedrooms into the rafters and will use the space above the roof for a fully landscaped terrace