Attic apartment

What is an attic apartment?

An attic apartment, also called a penthouse, is the term given to a free-standing apartment built onto the roof of a multi-story or high-rise building. These are primarily chic, luxurious and exclusive rooftop apartments that often have their own elevator. These later structures often arise due to lack of space. The development of the penthouse started in the 20th century. It was a symbol of status, cosmopolitan attitude and freedom - especially in the 60's - and therefore very popular, if you had enough pocket money.

The term «attic» originates from the Greek word «attikos» (Modern Greek: «attiki») and describes the architecture of a brickwork structure above a cornice or a partition wall to cover the roof (Source Wikipedia).


This type of building offers residents a large sphere of privacy since the entire floor is occupied, incl. a large, wrap-around sun deck. Penthouse apartments usually have a fantastic view and are often located in top central locations in cities or close to lakes. The attics above the rooftops of a major city or idyllic lakefront often feature a large living space, high-grade outfitting standard with kitchen, bathroom plus a living area and spacious room layouts. The location and ambiance highlight urban living and lifestyle that replace the comfort of a single-family home. Attic apartments usually have a wrap-around deck or a rooftop garden with pool; duplex construction style (maisonette) is also possible.

Depending on the building's construction type, the attic apartment will have a flat roof, often with ground level windows, or, a building with a pitched roof often has many sloping ceilings. The latter style requires the necessary flexibility when setting it up, especially with regard to furniture. The penthouse apartment can stretch over one or several floors.

Rent or buy an attic in Switzerland

Rent or buy? Many people ask this question. Renting an attic apartment usually has a high price because of the large living area and exclusive locations. An investment in a penthouse is definitely in an upscale price range. A careful examination should be performed to determine if the purchase has long term financial advantages, or if renting an attic apartment is more fitting. The prior financing check for property ownership should be carefully performed.

The Swiss real estate market offers a wide selection of luxury apartments to rent or buy. Most vacancies for this type of apartment are found in cities. In rural areas, people prefer to rent or buy single-family homes or farmhouses with a garden and swing. Below are current advertisements in Swiss cities for available attic apartments.